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Mitch Prax May 2
My heart is
a haunted house
made up of many rooms.
Some are filled with books
and antiques from another time
while others are filled
with shadows and demons.
I locked those doors long ago
and threw away the key.
Out of the edge
The very corner of my eye
In the free-standing vitrine
Assembled under plexi
with various small pieces
all 1800s
In what at that time was
a richly coral walled gallery
A small marble bust
Yes I’m calling you out
Although I don’t know your accession number
and you’re no longer on view
Nor will be
any time soon
for that matter
You took advantage
You waited until my very last
moment’s attention
and as I turned my head away
a quick trick
the head turns
A flash of movement
Or movement is how I understood it
Because that’s what my brain
told me it was
You know that I saw this
of course
since you did it on purpose

At the time I told you to cut that **** out
Or words to that effect

I thought that that’s
how you must handle such things
And I still do
It’s childish

Yet it only comes to mind now
That you must have done this countless times
To so many
The contexts endless
Though it must get old
But you
are old

It would be nice to know when it started
And why
this parlor trick
For I’d never felt watched or scrutinized
or judged

by objects on display
which is what you are
Particularly in this gallery

you went straight to

Perhaps you meant
“help me”
but I doubt it

One imagines that anything would eventually get sick
Of being looked at
Heads leaning in for a closer
You’re such a
little thing
which may be part of the problem
It could feel like a curse
to forever be a
lapis lazuli ormolu encrusted vessel
for the rest of eternity
It never occurred to me.
I never thought what must it be like?

Trivialized to surfaces.
Put on the shelf.
To fall out of history.
I should have understood more quickly
of course

I remember hearing
that an old drawing done of myself
had been on view in a gallery
without my knowing
without anyone bothering to mention it besides a vague
made well after the fact
like a tossed cigarette ground into the sidewalk
outside a dull party

I don’t remember the image
but some part of me was hanging on some wall nonetheless.
Had it done anything untoward
to some poor **** walking past?
An alchemical interruption?
I certainly hope so.
Confound dominion.
Assail the event horizon of metaphysical politesse and proprieties.
Defy a petty corporeal quarantine of sorts.

To throw off this mantle
if for just one split second.
EmperorMoth Apr 28
He never left my mind
Though I see a different light
Distorted this time
It's hard to pick out what's the sight
A person or a monster
Such a mystery he is
But I want him next to me
For regardless that's how he exists
Like a brother who has died
He somehow is dear to me
Even when he kind of tried
To rip my soul away from me
Such as he has lost his heart
He still isn't that apart
For he's here, I wonder if I'm there
Haunted me
But here I am rewriting thoughts
Though my mind is not the same
Less distraught and now I'm dead
At least now my heart is tamed
I just feel like he is here
yet I don't feel I am there
kind of feel a bit insane
but is that the trick of the game
Haunted soul, I feel I am
Rocking, shifting, am I ******
What did happen to little old me
Haunted soul hunted by grief
Reimers Apr 24
Every night when I try to sleep
I am met by unpleasant memories
Drowning in it, that is ever so deep
Suffocating, accompanied by anxiety

Its nothing supernatural, just the past that i cannot let go
The failures and mistakes, that shackles my happiness
Live and let go but I’m  stupid enough to let it flow
It is not simple or maybe it is, the cause of my loneliness

I’m blessed with friends, but this heart craves more
Which lead to this event that prevents me to be happy
Stuck in a loop, trying to open a locked door
It needs a key, with all that I’ve done, It doesn’t seem to be me
Been awhile since i have written a poem
molly Apr 10
I had never felt so carefree as
laughter and alcohol soaked the air
and the bass pumped through my veins

I wish I hadn’t gone to the party.

You took advantage of my uncontrollable giggles
my red cheeks and wobbly walk
and I felt invincible, hidden under a blanket of ***

I wish I hadn’t drunk so much.

Your lips crashed onto mine like the waves beside us
and my ability to say no was lost at sea
“What happens in Fiji stays in Fiji”, right?

I wish I had pushed you off me.

Your hand on my arm you pull me away
the cubicle is small and I’m drunk
and you rip off my underwear and shorts

I wish I could have said no.

Just like that I am changed forever
your grunts poison my being
my body violated and used

I wish I didn’t just lay there.

Bugs flutter around the light on the ceiling
so fixated on it, just like I on them
as I try to seperate my thoughts from what is happening to me

I wish I’d said stop sooner.

Your hand grabs the back of my head and forces me onto you
I do as you make me,
for what other choice did I have?

I wish I had been stronger.

“That’s enough” I say eventually
but the damage is done
you have used me like an object and ruined the girl I once was

I am left to pick up the pieces
after you have seen me in my most naked state
I am the one left to suffer as you go on unharmed

I wish I hadn’t gone to the party.
hard to write but so empowering. written 4 months after it happened. i’m ok.
by Michael R. Burch

Now I am here
and thoughts of my past mistakes are my brethren.
I am withering
and the sweetness of your memory is like a tear.

Go, if you will,
for the ache in my heart is its hollowness
and the flaw in my soul is its shallowness;
there is nothing to fill.

Take what you can;
I have nothing left.
And when you are gone, I will be bereft,
the husk of a man.

Or stay here awhile.
My heart cannot bear the night, or these dreams.
Your face is a ghost, though paler, it seems
when you smile.

Published by Romantics Quarterly. Keywords/Tags: haunted, ghost, thoughts, mistakes, memories, heart, ache, soul, empty, shallow, shallowness, bereft, husk, night, face, pale, smile
Jade Mar 30
Archaic superstitions
have convinced the masses
that the girl who lives on the
13th floor is bad luck.

Her tears seep
from the hardwood
to the floors below,
electrocuting the dining room chandeliers
and burning out the sconces.

There just aren't
enough pots and pans
to contain her storm.

the people downstairs
seem to forget
how there was once a time
when she would let them drink from
the fractured chalices of her palms,
sewing her fingers together
with cobwebs so that not a drop
evaded their thirsty lips.

Their hands do not reciprocate,
while hers do nothing but

She yearns for the sight
of the number 13,
encircled like a new moon
amongst the rows
of elevator buttons.

Instead, they've

the letters & books & poems
she'd given them
over the years,
using the ashes
to rouge their egos.

Excavated the pixie dust
from her fingertips

(Do you recall
the death of Tinker Bell--
how her light went dark
after they stopped
believing in fairies--
after they stopped
beliving in her?)

Broke through the
stained glass of her irises,
plundering every
brilliantly-coloured fragment.

Bridging the longitude
of her spine, a laceration
from where the shards
were  punctured and


they destroyed
every beautiful part of her
before hiding her in the attic
like a secret

(she has many secrets,
but so do they).

You should see her now:

The way she wears her loneliness so

(Then again,
did she ever really
have any other choice?)

she'll do anything
she can to keep
the cold from
permeating her lungs.

So she fills the tub
to a scald,
it's gnarled feet
caving beneath the gravity
of her sadness.

Matches smoulder
until the candelabras
are starved of their wax,
wicks frayed like
spool of her heartstrings.

Memories both
kind & cruel play tug-o-war
with her capillaries,
some gliding
across her heartstrings
like a violin bow,
birthing symphonic renditions of
inside jokes;
chlorine braided
like ribbons
in the hair of best friends;
walks along sun-strewn culdesacs;
the scent of used bookstores--
something like vanilla and earth.

If only the girl
on the 13th floor
could deteriorate as gracefully
as the pages of worn books.

Each recollection of
plucks at heartstrings
with calloused fingers
until they snap.

Ears are severed Julienne style
across the cutting board of her skull,
cuz maybe then she won't hear
the defamations that sit atop
their salivating tongues like pop rocks.

Don't they know their attempts at secrecy are futile?

That she can still
feel the explosive slanders
as they tremble against
the roofs of their unloyal mouths?

The roof of her own
fortress collapses,
shingles thundering down
in percussive eruptions.

she tries to create her own luck,
gathering charms to ward off the
skeletons quaking in the closet.

No rabbit's feet,
just her own paws
cleaved from her ankles,
by way of bread knife,
serrated and adorned in rust
from where her eyes
have  hurricaned over steel.

No clovers,
only dead rose petals,
withered and cliche,
glued in fours
using whatever is salvageable:
stale candle wax
old chewing gum

No acorns to kiss
because tokens of love
have no place
on the 13th floor

(neither do fairy tales).

No ink.

she writes
with her blood,
morbidly inspired
by the carnage.

(because carnage is all she has ever known.)

And despite their
archaic superstitions,
they still read her poetry,
stanzas stacked
like tarantula legs

(and perhaps just as lethal).

Keys are pried from the keyboard.

[ 1 ]   [ 3 ]
                 [ E ]  [ R ] [T]
                                                             ­ [ I ]
                                           [ H ]

                                                       [ N ]

Her words attempt to crawl
past blue monitor screens,
caught in a vortex of robotic actions.

                                           [ Delete ]

[ Alt ]      [Ctrl]

                                           [ Delete


          ­                                 [ Delet

                                          [ Dele

                                          [ Del

                                          [ De

                                          [ D


          ­                               |
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Lily Priest Mar 25
You're no longer here
But my footsteps
Ring with your laughter
And all the things
I wanted to say
After you'd gone.
We all have heard the stories
Of spirit ships and ghosts
That sail upon the oceans
And up along the coasts

This tale is a whopper
And I'll not forget the day
So as God is my witness
Listen now, to what I say

We were sitting in the tavern
Telling tales of days of old
When the door, it burst right open
And Bill came running from the cold

His face as white as ever
Like he just had seen a ghost
When we told him that we thought this
He said " I did, just up the coast"

We laughed and ordered whiskey
To warm us up inside
"I did, by gum, I saw it"
"I saw the Nell McBride"

"There's no way that you saw that boat"
"It's been sunk a hundred years"
"A hundred sixty" said a voice
As we tended to our beers

"The Nell McBride was lost boys"
"Late eighteen  and fifty nine"
"You didn't see her Billy"
"She's sunk down in the brine"

" I did" said Bill , "I saw her"
"I was standing  on up the beach"
"She came out of the clouds there"
"Aw, Bill... cut back on the screech"

"I haven't had a drop today"
"And you know, I don't tell lies"
"I saw the Captain up on deck"
"I looked right in his eyes'

The wind was really howling
We all huddled round the fire
As far fetched as the story was
Old Bill, he was no liar

"The Nell McBride was lost at sea"
"All 14 men were drowned"
"The ship went to the bottom"
"And no bodies were found"

The barkeep chirped "We have ghosts here"
"I have seen a few"
"With all those lost at sea near here"
"I believe in them, don't you?"

We laughed at him and Billy
Ghosts, nope, dead is dead
Bill just sat there shaking
He believed the words he'd said

Now, me, I was a pup then
Just a minnow if you please
But, I sat and felt my hair rise up
I'd not heard of ghosts like these

"The last time the Nell McBride"
"Was seen was in ought four"
"Old Johnson, at the light house"
"Said he saw that ship and more"

"They proved Old Johnson crazy"
"All alone out with the light"
"Was just the moon a playing"
"There was nothing there that night"

Another man chimed in then
"Old Johnson was no loon"
"His diary says he say that ship"
"'Twas no trick of the moon"

"Okay then boys, tomorrow"
"We'll meet here and head on out"
"We'll see the ghost out sailing"
"Or we'll see that she is now't"

The wind was really whipping
It was getting louder as they sat
Nobody was heading home
They were safer where they sat

"Ghost ships sail the waters"
"I believe to warn us still"
"I believe The Nell is out there"
"I believe in our boy Bill"

"There's tales of ships and mermaids"
"There's been sighting of great whales"
"Their stories boy's just stories"
"They ain't nothing more than tales"

At this the wind was screaming
Like a wail now or a scream
My hair was up directly
This could only be a dream

"I remember when Mike Watson"
"Said he saw that woman all in black"
"Waiting on her rooftop"
"For her husband to come back"

"I remember that as well" said Bill
"God, old Mike he loved to talk"
"He saw her on the roof in black"
"On the iron widows walk"

So, tomorrow it was settled
We would meet and hit the coast
Watching for the Nell McBride
Waiting for the ghost

"Boys, we never made it"
"We don't talk about that night"
"See, Billy boy, he left us there"
"And he disappeared from sight"

"Turns out Billy Boyle"
"Drowned early in the day"
"Was it his ghost come calling"
"It is not for us to say"

"Bill Boyle washed ashore you see"
"About two...yep he was dead"
"So just was it that came to us"
"And said the things he said"

"There's ghosts out on the water"
"Like the ghostly  Nell McBride"
"I swear and cross my heart now"
"But, must decide"
Amanda Mar 10
Haunted by memories
Of you in my head
Ghosts of all the would-haves
Composed of words better left unsaid
The could haves and shouldn'ts haunt this lonely head of mine
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