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Salvador Kent Apr 20
Eleven twenty nine.
She arrived on your blue light.
Intoxicated. Drunk.
You hadn't spoken in a month.
You started to shake,
Blue lips, blue soul.
You always get more sad
As it gets more late.
More to the point you get
Sad when you're with her.
She says how she wants
A long conversation again...
You know, the type that used
To end in declarations of love.
Always from you.
She never felt that way.
You need to follow your own path
She says. *******.
She knows whenever you're with her
You can't cope. It's a sad truth,
But truth nonetheless.
She says she misses you.
A tear drops from your eye.
She says I love you...
Three dreaded words, untrue...
A girl from Liverpool is meanwhile
Trying to ****** you...
And you get your priorities straight...
Too late. But at least they're straight.
Blue eyes, frenchie whatever,
She's unhealthy for you.
Have to move on into
Liverpool says I love you...
It's getting late...
Tell frenchie to go away...
Never be in your life again.
She isn't who you think she is
She's drunk.
I tried a bit of free verse, I think it went alright!
melancholy Jan 3

I'm just a little girl.

You make me happier than anything else

With the books that you read me

The smiles you give me

The warmth of your body

As I sit on your lap

My downy blonde head

Rested, listening to the heartbeat

That lulled me to sleep

In your womb.

You tell me,


You are my sunshine."

You're mine, too

So I bring you

Pictures I drew

Purple weeds that I picked from the yard


Flashing love, optimism

With my crooked baby teeth.

I love you, Mama

I do.


I'm not a little girl.

I like boys

And have opinions

And bleed

Just about every month now.

I roll my eyes

And speak my mind

And disagree.

I want to read those few books

You don't think that I'm ready to read.

I make you cry now

Almost as often as I make you laugh.

I remind you of the sharp, dangerous bits

Of your own adolescence

With all the added danger

Of my Daddy's set ways.

I'm sorry, Mama

I am.

I can only become a woman

In the ways that you teach me.

I love you, Mama

I do.


You know I'm your girl.

I might have Daddy's face and sense of humor

But it's you and I

Talking about our respective friends

As we work in the kitchen

You on the main course

Me on dessert.

We laugh

And sing along to Courtney Love's mad howls

No matter how much everyone else winces in response.

Let me tell you a secret, Mama:

I don't want to grow up anymore.

I feel safe here

Always at home

As long as I'm with you.

I love you, Mama

I do.


I'm still just a little girl.

It scares me to death

To see you hurt

When there's nothing I can do

To ease your pain.

Part of me wants to do

What you did for me:

Tuck you into bed

With a hug

A kiss

A ginger ale.

"Sleep tight


Don't let the bed bugs bite.

Sweet dreams

Love you

See you tomorrow."

I want to **** this ******* cancer

Eradicate it

From you

And every man, woman, and child

Who's ever fallen

Into its hideous grip.

I don't want to ever have to leave your side, Mama,

Wouldn't do it

For anything in this world.

I'm sorry

For any nasty thing

I could have ever said to you.

I'm sorry

If the stresses

Of a single moment

Or years' worth of them

Ever stole a little bit of joy

From you and I.  

I love you, Mama

I always will.

I'll do anything

If it means we can take each other's hands

And kick this thing's ***.
harlon rivers Nov 2018
Listening rain plashes
upon crystal spring waters
It hears the trailing distance
disguised in the silent gravity
chasing it down the sky;
refreshingly sprinkling
where spotless fawns
drink from mirror pond
green and peacefulness

     A man falls from
a distance he knows by heart;
dropping like a wind broke tree ...
Breaking all the silence hidden
within the deepest places
          of his soul
Hitting the ground hard
to see if he still feels —
laying there broken
feeling the raindrops
     soothe the hurt

Certain when he’s able
     to get back up,
hearing a distant calling
to the fountains of his soul —
he may fall down again
     bearing the weight
     of broken dreams
     But he’s seen it all
for long enough to know:
he’s no candle in the wind

Awakening in an unfinished life,
coming back from the dead,
     still feeling each
     feral breath enough —
     to keep on trying
to chase down the wind ...

     harlon rivers                                                           ­                          .
November 4th, 2018

Rumi said:   'Whoever brought me here
                     Will have to take me home'
Graff1980 Jul 2018
He’s been on the road
coming home
Arizona flagstaff
wearing his
jury rigged knapsack
with plastic
and cloth bags
strapped together
by an orange cord.

Sixty something,
tan skinned,
and missing teeth,
I find him
on the off ramp
as I head out
to work.

Sign says Springfield
but he is trying to
get back to
I almost pass him by,
but I remember
a younger guy,
the good man
I used to be.
He asks me to be
kind again.

I tell him
I’ll drop him
halfway there,
but he offers
a traveler’s perspective
and excellent conversation
so, I take him as far as I am going.

We roll in
just in time
for him to miss
the storm coming,
and part with
a handshake
and goodwill,
I forgot how good
that feels.
Graff1980 Jan 2018
It was a
suicidal game
of self-destruction,
as I walked slowly
on the white winter ground.

Four or more
sleep deprived nights
because of some
drug a doctor prescribed
that nearly fried
my already fragile mind.

For the first time in my life
I decided to give cigarettes a try.
Cancer be ******
because I had already been
******* condemned.
So, I smoked them.

Pushed to the edge,
I punished myself
with cold indifference
popping the last bits
of this sick prescription.

I asked the doctor
if I could take these
before I went to bed.
I guess he didn’t
listen to a word I said.
Was it his ignorance
or merely negligence
that nearly did me in?

On the fourth night,
I watched my best friend
collapse from his asthma
because he was
running to call the cops
to come and save me.

His efforts made me laugh,
as I indifferently considered
just finding a place to hide
while I waited to wither and die.
harlon rivers Nov 2017
No one passes through here ever stays for long
i can't even seem to catch sight of my own road home
The body hanging at the end of my own line i don't recognize
waiting for a change  ―  that never comes around

Fleeting through the primrose path crossroads in a blur,...
right now i'm standin' here like a brainless scarecrow all alone
Just another familiar frost heave pothole barely shunt
swerved around like an unmarked bump
on this frozen lonesome road

i let you see it and you told me what it was ,..
but the rear-view mirror only reflects the tracks left behind
Looking for the Black Box to unearth the cause of the crash
somewhere underneath a black and white rainbow i can't find

If you see a wayfaring stranger that abides undone
don't even stop to feel the ache that trickles down
Just hit the gas and hold sway the wheels go round,
look off---- the dead raccoon lay sullied at the side of the road

No one passes through here ever stays for long
i can't even seem to catch sight of my own road home
The body hanging at the end of my own line i don't recognize
waiting for a change  ―  that never comes
and yet life unfolds as it is intended
a life well lived ― every bump is felt,
it's a long road we've been traveling on
with twists and turns,  switchbacks and potholes
tough times change, undo,
     melt down ―
••• redux •••

written by: h.a. rivers ... 11 .13 .2017
writing happens ―
Graff1980 Oct 2017
A sharp cry of fury pierces the quiet atmosphere of the public housing complex. Neighbors from almost a block away can hear incoherent statements of rage and disgust. However, they seldom hear the sounds of violence. One would have to linger just outside the door to get an inkling of the ****** noses, busted lips, ripped shirts, pulled hair, bruised skin, or reddening flesh punctuated with shouts of “I don’t hate you; I hate your action” or” you’re going to end up just like your father rotting in cell.” Even “say you’re sorry, say you’re sorry or else” or “If you got it so bad why don’t you call DCF and have them take you away.”
Though the statements varied and the violence was different it always ended the same. The young boy locked in his little room watching the world spinning on without him. No books, no games, no hint of fun allowed, or the ire of the matriarch would be incited and more violence would ensue. Only homework, bible, and sleep were allowed. Some days dark moments of despair would creep in. The little boy would eye the electric socket with curiosity and desperation. Thinking that all it would take is a butter knife. Jab that in there and this would be over.
Sometimes he would grab the blanket, crumpling it together till it formed a hill then trace the strange pathways around the cover like his index finger was a car, or imagine his route of escape from this silent prison. Other times he would lie on his back still as death only breathing. In and out, in and out over and over again till his body felt as though it was moving with the tides of an unseen ocean. On rare occasion if only for a minute or two he could almost feel his body recede and his consciousness float up and away. What a strange thing for an eleven year old to experience.
At night in order to fall asleep he would imagine himself with his favorite fictional heroes, saving the world, and being part of their family, accepted and loved. After an hour or so of strange heroic and familial fantasy the boy would slip into the safest place he knew. Daring to dream, reality would fold in upon itself. Spheres of varying color, overlapping and blending would float through his unconscious world. Space dust and sparkling stars urging him on into the strange void. Even the blinking explosions of dying star ******* greedily at his ethereal essence seamed a sweet relief from the daily nightmares of life.
In the midst of this mosaic wonder there was a perfect peace. He could softly surrender the darkest moments of the day. Bubbles of light would gently cradle him in their warm and wet reassurances. He could almost believe this was heaven. There were no loud or sudden movements of fury, there were no bruises or busted lips, only the sweetest freedom.
Waking, that world of wonder would retreat into the clotted corners of his already anxious mind. Until, their comfort and wonder became only impressions, which were eventually swallowed by the day. A day that would be spent ******* in a plastic cup or just draining himself on the ***** green carpet to avoid being yelled at or beaten for leaving his room.
From the window, he watched his peers play unhindered by the dark shadows that seemed to linger in every corner of his home. Sometimes he envied them, other times he found himself furious with them, laughing gleefully at the thunderstorms which interrupted their play time. Still when sleep released him to his playful peace there was just enough joy to sustain him, just enough happiness to get him through the day till the dreams would come again. Then again, inching ever closer to maturity, then to freedom of his flesh from the maternal *******, then freedom of his mind much much later in life.
Now with the ease of an old friend he visits those wonders each night; sometimes waking in tears of gratitude and pain other nights waking with a sense of reinvigoration and determination. Each day a blank canvas to paint a better world upon, and each night a brighter adventure then the one before.
Joshua Haines Oct 2017
No doorknobs exist on this floor.
I can't find any outlets.
The belt that lady--I didn't mean to
disappoint--bought me is coiled,
surrounded by Tupperware walls.
A nurse checked herself in. No
affect; asking for charge; reset.
I'm twenty and letting down my dad.
My belt used to live at JC Penny
and has navy-outlined bass on it.
One of the counselors is black,
from Africa, was adopted, moved
here to be raised by two JP Morgan
lifers, played collegiate soccer, married,
got pregnant, lost the boy--which he said
he had a feeling it would have been.
So, he can relate.
No doorknobs exist on this floor.
I am twenty and this exists in the past.
Wheeling in due to an inability to walk
--totally her brain's fault; a real former-
controllable, current-uncontrollable thing
that her mind pulled on her, on account
from the cold, Vaseline touch of a relative
--this redheaded girl pretends to smile
before apologizing for pretending to smile.
Our black counselor, former soccer player
and father says to not apologize and that
we are all pretending, all the time, even
when we don't think we are.
I find this strangely comforting.
James H Butko Sep 2017
conversation, in the rain
dry only half the way but i can cope
a carrier pidgeon waits for me in my chambers
with a message that shatters my armour
i'm back in the present, no jokes in sight
not much else happened that night
morning came and raps were had
my brother dragged me out of bed
to see a face that said it all
top bunk, tears flowed
the world went on

somewhere new now
they treat us like toddlers
have us paint a window that they're taking down soon
but i can still farm at home
but a service for the fallen
on the other side of town
i end up there and panic panic
what else is there to do
the worst has happened
anything is possible
but nothing else happens
for a long time actually
but winter becomes spring again
and life goes on
i ride a faulty elevator to work
but it's worth it to put out fires i start
just so i can start more fires
in retrospect it's hazy
probably from wildfire smoke
wish i could go back
but life goes on

closer to it now
like i've never been before
these things would fit like puzzle peices
if i were upsidedown or oppsosite
it doesn't last and i go fast
i fight the transformation to a rat
for a while, it works
and i swim and talk of new york city
and maybe even feel alive for once
but just once
paint walls, paint walls, paint walls
so sorry i missed your calls
paint walls, paint walls, paint walls
so sorry i- oh, no calls
and the green grass grows around me
i climb to the roof to escape it
i hear it could eat you inside out
but the grass becomes a bog
and then the bog becomes a lake
where rocks can skip forever
you just have to close your eyes
before you see them sink
a serenity of sorts, a pillow for the devil
but i can't run no more, unless it's for a hat
keep the hat, i'll be sleeping in the snow
or in a tree that's more alive than me

but a shock to the system hits me hard
an eye looks into mine again
the connection lasts no longer than a millennium
so i get the wind to stroke my head
then christmas comes
i walk outside
light snowfall
can be seen beneath street lights
it falls from the clouds above
and probably from my eyes too
but i don't remember it, or more accurately
i remember it like a painting
a painting i didn't make
despite all the paint i'd gathered
and the lessons i had taken
i look at something this perfect
and i think for a second
one short trip inside my mind
is enough to convince me
this wasn't me, but i wish it was

i hope the artist never paints again
but he did
because they kept giving him paint
he tried to drink the paint
but it was non-toxic
but he also got used to the taste of paint
tastes like tv static and old home tapes
i'm sorry for being born
but i should'nt feel too guilty
i saved them from all this
i am the martyr *****
the story should've ended there
all in all, this year was hell
this is my poetic autobiography of how i experienced the year 2013
Zero Nine Mar 2017
I play Magic: The Gathering.
I play video games.
I do both as a means of break in mundanity.
I suppose the way a person reads,
The way a person watches a movie.
Stories within stories in words and then
More stories within pictures
The picture part is great because I can't draw.
I mean I can't write code or balance over
Twenty years of game mechanics but words,
I've got words. I've got the best words.
I smoke **** and I have a lot of weird fetishes
I don't know why. To both of those things.
I have no idea. **** makes me paranoid and sleepy.
It does other things, too, but I can't describe it well.
I can't describe it clearly.  I like drinking ***,
But I've never peed on someone else, so I don't
Know if I'm down with that. I'll have *** with anyone,
But disclaimer, I won't have *** with just anyone,
If you catch my drift. *****, ******, whatever, doesn't
Matter but I prefer my fellow queer, or queer minded,
You ******* sickos. I just like getting my mouth on things.
Someone well learned in human sexuality might be
Able to shed some light on that.
I chain smoke and I neglect myself.
And I do both because I am one depressed, self loathing
****** with a half hearted death wish or some ****.
I cling really tightly to naivety, but not because I want
It enough to have it around all the time.
I'd say it's only so I don't go down that road again
And self destruct. Figure that one out.
Clearly autobiographical
As opposed to abstractly autobiographical
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