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lj brooks Dec 2022
i don’t want life to be easy,
but i wish it were simple
i don’t want to pick flowers
to die in a vase on the table

it’s too late to retreat
it’s too late to begin
it’s too late to start over
i’m too broke to give in

i want it all or none
spend my days in a class or the sun
either a mansion or shack on a hill
if i could put in the effort, complete overkill

but they don’t want me to belong to the land
(only if i put a dollar in their hand)
so i am a little bit lost
a little bit lazy at a pretty large cost
and i want to know things but not out of need
fulfill my own longing, a curious greed

it’s too late to go back
it’s too early to die
it’s too late to start over
it’s no use asking why
can i only have just one?
rich exhaustion or penniless fun
i’m sure that some can,
but that someone’s not me
unless there’s something that no one can see

i’m digging for treasure
i’m not sure is there
maybe i’ll find it…
if i just change my hair
when i wrote this, i was hoping that a melody would come to me and it could be a song, if that explains the awkward rhythm (or lack thereof). still haven’t been able to think of a melody :/
Things are not going in the right direction, nowadays
I wake up and begin to think a lot of things and end the day with the same thoughts 
I'm going through various phases these days that I don't know how to explain
And I don't want to express them either...
Happiness has been something that I can clearly see but can't feel 
I see people laughing and cheering around me, but that seems so artificial...

Now I abstain from being a part of those social groups
Where the use of the “F” word makes you cool and gives you a certificate for your confidence
But I don't blame them, Perhaps it's me only who lacks something
Something that makes me feel alienated in the crowd 
Every day I feel like a glass broken by several strokes of a hammer
But I collect myself again... just to witness the pain of those invisible scars...

Writing gives me peace of mind, but these days I avoid writing down the things
Not because I'm lacking inspiration or something, but I'm afraid
Afraid of the same words that used to heal me before but now haunt my peanut brain every now and then
The words I used to put life in are now attempting to shape my entire life...
I'm feeling like that caged bird who can't fly even after being freed 
Because she's got the false notion that she has no wings, perhaps the same notion I'm getting too.
I have to express a lot of things... might share them in the next part!
Anyway, I'm back here again... will try to interact more often now.
Carlo C Gomez Jul 2022
Black as coal.
Moth or myth?
It helps with the lights out.
And travels by thought.

Cleopatra enters Rome,
Dropping names,
Reciting pagan poetry,
Knocking on forbidden doors.

Nicole sees shadows
Of her former self
Staring back at her,
Rock paper scissors,
The color of three.

Give and take after take
On the burning soil
Of a blurred crusade.

And other assorted weapons
Form white lies and alibis,
Calibrating the dusted variations
Of a caught-on-camera obscura,
It is a dark waltz,
Some small hope still,

Yet there's a comma after still.

Ira Desmond Mar 2022
When your sister
died, it was the blue
box of Kraft Macaroni and
Cheese. Your half-
sister from your
father’s previous
marriage cooked it up
for you—she was only
a year or
two older than
you were—and you fell
asleep there on the
floor, where it remained half-
finished for the entire
night. When you
awoke the next
day, before you had even
opened your eyes, you 
thought for a brief
moment that maybe it
had all been just
a dreadful nightmare, but
then you opened them and
there the macaroni and
cheese still sat, half-
eaten on that paper
plate. No—
it had all
actually happened.

When your coworker
fatally poisoned
herself, you made
up your mind to
buy the nicest
ingredients you could
find and to cook the best
Italian pasta recipe you could
think of in order to
show your family
how much you loved
them. You wanted to be
present with them, to be still
alive with them. You
wanted to not
make the same
mistake twice, but
then there you were
at dinner, distant
for the entire
meal, unable to even
make simple
conversation, ashamed of
the awful contortions your
brain was doing in
order to process
your guilt over
her death.

When your father
died, it was some left-
over soup you had cooked
up a week prior. You were
embarrassed about how
the black-eyed peas and
sweet potatoes had turned out;
you apologized to your
wife for their mushiness,
and she smiled sadly and told
you it was the best
soup she had ever
tasted. After a week in
the refrigerator, the kale
tasted slimy. The soup was
overhot; its texture,
nonexistent. By
this point in your life, the
texture of nearly
everything—even that
of death—had become
wholly unremarkable
to you.

And when your old
friend from college
died, there was
no meal at all—just
a hasty cup of black
coffee you poured
yourself right before the
big work presentation
began. The text
message said that
he had thrown
himself from atop a
skyscraper in lower
Manhattan, and that
he had finalized his
divorce just a few
months prior. You
thought about calling
off the meeting, but your
boss said that he
would be in
attendance and, grimly,
you decided to swallow
your bitter emotions
right along with the
coffee—you didn’t
want to let
him down.
Rich Dec 2021
Agitation, despair and its winged variations, you name it
all repressed but still rise to test me

What is my recourse?
I tread lightly on this Escheresque concourse
It’s repeated often, I know
but the pen and keys are my most cathartic release
they’re magma to emerging flames
they’re sedatives for demons and angels alike
that reside on corners of this clavicle

How many steps could you take through my lens, my concave mirror?
Have you felt what I felt?
The brimming, cerebral cauldron bursting, putting volcanic geysers to shame
the questions outnumbering seconds spent since Earth’s nativity
the emotions ripping a rift through which rationality deep dives
it becomes Phelps in unknown depths
your body becomes both a Vatican and a Colosseum,
place of worship and place of war
and you walk the tightropes your vocal chords have morphed into
careful to seem like another replica, don’t wanna upset the blades they all balance on
don’t wanna scare the rest hollow, no,
best to follow and best to follow the regimen:

coffee beans and spice of delusion in the hazelnut syrup,
sip slow
follow the same cycle because change is a cocoon and cocoons ache like the past
keep on pretending to love the workplace
love the norms held over you
puppet strings bring warmth after all
in this solitary world cold as winter missile silos
and just as destructive

So I ask again, have you felt what I felt?

Do the few days in utopia offset the majority on rodent wheels?
Have you risen so high, to satellite peaks, to the best you’ve ever been
only to have the worst waiting on the coin’s parallel?

We flip like saltwater fins and backstroke till a back is left broke
I’m learning to discard hope but breathe in the alternative
I believe in better days, I will carve them from local stone
and build a home upon their surfaces
I now know paradise is a set of blueprints
happiness is no state of mind, it’s a direction to me
you may not notice when you arrive
but you keep going

and that’s the beauty of it
you let it be the wind
It’ll find you on your journey

Tell me again,
have you felt what I felt?
Elizabeth Kelly Nov 2021
I’m an imposter.

I’m an imposter and no one can know.

I may end up on the street in rags that once were my clothes.

Money isn’t everything,
But being poor blows

And I’m facing the clock.

What then felt like freedom now feels like a box;

Like a long leash
in a big yard
Where the gate’s always locked.
Am I selling my soul to the corporate world
in a vain pursuit of future financial stability?
Should I have bought my future with what little I had
and spent it growing my skills in music and writing
so that I could know they were not wasted?
Should I give up on this new work-from-home desk job
where I'm paid commission and weekly bonuses
and won't see the residual income from renewals for thirteen months?
Can't I have something stable that doesn't bore me to death,
and something exciting that doesn't turn my anxiety to an 11?
I've never had a balance--every job has been one or the other.
And yet, as I yearn for a career in music, I recall my past
where I majored in songwriting and couldn't handle college
and I sigh and realize that jumping to a music job wouldn't "fix" me.
No matter what I'm doing, I will need to have perseverance,
and patience, yes, but also motivation and drive to improve myself.
These struggles that I face now at this job are the same ones
that I've always struggled with--they're part of me still.
And I've always blamed the job for not being a good fit--
and some of them weren't, true--but that wasn't the root of it.

A job that is worth doing
will take effort and drive
and no worthy income
comes by barely getting by
and doing the bare minimum
in order to escape a scolding.
I need to change my mindset
in order to grow above this--
this swamp of complacency,
this mire of despondent weakness,
this misty swath of ambiguous feelings
that have dictated my actions
for far too long. No.
I'll sit and get to work
knowing that I am securing a future
for myself, my husband, and family
and that one day, I will have time
to create art in any way I want
but right now, I have a lesson to learn
about working hard
and rising to the challenge.
Don't let me forget.
I can't look back now.
Up I go, to new heights
where the fearful me
thought the risks were too great.
Up I go, to climb my mountain
and win this battle, and the next,
until I'm out of the doldrums
and onto the path that advances before me.

Here goes.
solfang Apr 2021
I don't know
if the air on the other side
is fresher or cleaner;
all I know is,
I'm suffocating here
Gonna change to a new job for better career growth; loved my company and the people I worked with
LannaEvolved Jan 2021
A powerful peaceful mind keeps the heart of an enlightened sacred soul.

The right people will always find you at the right time. Timing is always perfect with the Universe guiding you it is never off and can not steer you in the wrong way. It will always guide you to the correct fitting path for you on the journey that is your life. Trust that. Know that.
Keep that knowing safe in your heart, so that  your intuition can work it’s peak and create the miracle that will give you the strength, the happiness, and the healing to move forward with what is yours and is truly meant to be.
Allow this intuition and awareness to help you create the best life for yourself because it is truly for you and only you. It is for your benefit and only yours alone. And you deserve that to create in order to live the best possible. ❤️
Seranaea Jones Dec 2020

in case you may not know, it was the last car
at the end of a train, usually it was a red or
occasionally a yellow color which would be
clearly noticed

this car was manned in order to monitor the
train from that end for any issues, particularly
in case an axle from one of the coal cars locks
up and catches on fire

but i guess this feature was eliminated due to
improvements in the wheel assemblies, or maybe
because they had new electronic monitoring for the
crews in the locomotives

if you are under the age of thirty, this may not have
been general knowledge to you since the use of these
cars were phased out sometime in the 1980's, now a
red flashing light signifies the end of the train

you can see one of these cars parked near the city
square just north of the Tennessee/Kentucky
border in Guthrie— there is just enough rail
underneath to hold it braked in place

i think the rails once extended to the mainline
and the car was trapped there when acetylene
cutters terminated its route in either direction.

the men who rode it are now
the ghosts of everlasting

now we have thousands riding the
caboose of their careers amidst
red blaring lights that flash
from all imaginable

many of them sitting motionless
upon routes that go nowhere...

s jones
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