Haley Greene Jun 7


i want something electric, so vivid and blinding that it leaves an imprint in my vision like walking into a dark room after being in the sun
i want passion so rare it leaves me foraging for whatever's left of me by the time you're gone
i want to speed down the coastline [evolved yet unchanged]
i don't know how to unglue myself from what you are
maybe i'll keep giving into the callousness in my heart that's been growing like a cancer since the first betrayal
you've used those lines before
they're carved in me with lingering pains that things are an illusion and i'm here to boost your ego
i've played this game long enough to know who the bad guys are
but what if i'm the bad guy for escaping something stable and unwavering
for a toxic replacement
[albeit you're pretty easy on the eyes]
teeter-tottering between saying something and actually doing it
my soul on a string like a tether ball where the players are you versus everyone else
and you say one thing
one tiny, insincere affirmation
my mind goes around the pole in circles until it's completely wrapped around the edges the way you have me singled around your rough fingers
creating knots out of my insides
yet all of your red flags fly violently
so i swing the other direction
loosening at the peak before you come back around and hold me like a child again
a vicious cycle
dangling a dangerous scenario in front of me like an animal eyeing food until it's clawing at your leg to rip it from your hands with their bare teeth
even in my fair share of evenings i was better off not having, you're miles ahead
pretending to be big kids an adult's world
and my mind goes miles a minute at the thoughts
you're not helping slow it down
you are no more an animal than i

Haley Greene Jun 7


a single space and two bodies  
you are drawn to the same air as i
but only (and only) sometimes
i wait for the message
that says "hello beautiful"
sift through the crowds to reach you for "goodbye"
and those days always come and go
when they're here, they're here
when i have nothing to show for myself
i can't stand to be next to a mirror
picking apart all the things you say you love about me
up and awake wondering when you'll set your sights on a new shiny distraction
i don't believe in putting a padlock on handcuffs and swallowing the key
nothing gold can stay
yet my mouth waters at the thought of pulling you in
but this place is a social experiment
where you and i can be whoever you want
i am a social chameleon
adjusting to whichever patterns and personalities fit my surroundings
believer and doubter
but the light and darkness aren't ambiguous
just the shadows between
and that's where we'll be
if you let me

Haley Greene Jun 7


you flirt with me innocently through a receipt
my last night at here
and for the last three months i tried to justify the casual verbal and physical sexual harassment that was happening before me - to me
because he was easy on the eyes
and he dressed up dirty words to make them sound poetic and pretty
and anything but romantic
nobody had to ask why i was leaving because i didn't tell anyone except for the managers - all but one
the one who is known for this pattern of taking us naïve girls to the beer cooler in the back
to do anything but what was gentlemanly
and i ate up every single line like they were candy hearts
because he made my head blow up like a balloon
he's in there now
smiling like nothing's wrong
and when it's blatantly obvious that everything about what he does is so wrong - even illegal - that's what merits a "what's wrong"
and i don't know why i still love you
because you haven't once attempted any of the things you said you would
you've just pulled me so fearlessly close that i have to get as far away as possible because the "l" word scares me
and you would rather her than i
and you're caged up in the same home as someone you probably have to share a bed with even though you don't want to
you blame it all on the way your parents raised you
and the nightmare your mother had
meanwhile i would've cared for you relentlessly
and i do?

Haley Greene Jun 7


you're the only person that makes my words melt before i even get a chance to push them into existence
it's not hard for me to talk usually
yet with you i feel completely dumbfounded like the times i've stood in front of a crowd of hundreds aimlessly entertaining (i'm sure you know what that's like)
i pick apart and pre-meditate every word and that's all they are
you weave them together in ways that are strangely more beautiful
even sexual
and the eloquence of your words that flow out of you with the same ease as water escaping a glass -
is the same effortless pairing i spend hours attempting to perfect
most days i never get it right
hell, it feels like a cliché to want someone as bad as the next girl who struts her stilettos to the bar
just for a single compliment or peck on the cheek
sometimes it makes me wonder
if i'm any different
i feel like i sink away in the everyday black but there's always something you want to say to acknowledge that hey, today i got up and tried
every time you pull back
it all feel so useless
i don't want your all, i just want a little bit

Nateive Son Mar 8

There is an old story,
From 1909 I believe,
By Mr. E.M. Forster,
Where he basically predicted the freedom and enslavement,
Of the Internet,
Text messaging,
Video calls and all sorts of,
Commodified realities.


And to go further down,
The rabbit hole,
Everyone lives in little rooms,
Not unlike modern apartments,
And cubicles,
Where they never see the sunlight,
Or sit for hours outside,
Next to their water source,
Life giver,
Nestled by greenery.

I remember my green childhood,
I stayed outside all the time,
Shat in the woods,
Drank out of streams,
Got lost,
Fought with my brother.

Another version of heaven.

I have always battled the modern existence,
Trying to live some sort of Kerouac-esque,
But they really don't dig that,
These days.

Recently I found an old VHS tape,
Of a movie called "Jacob's Ladder,"
Where this post office guy,
The anti-Bukowksi,
Vietnam vet,
Thinks that demons are coming to get him,
But this Jewish chiropractor that always,
Cracks his back,
Says this weird saying:

"If you're fighting against death,
You're always going to see demons,
dragging you to hell.

But if you make your peace,
They'll always be angels,
Ready to free you from this Earth."

And sometimes I feel like that.

Paul Butters Jan 12

The generations rumble on,
I know no reason why.
We build our countless tower-blocks,
Reaching to the sky.

Jacob is our newest one.
He’s only two years old.
Who knows what things he’s going to see?
Great nephew who’ll have…great stories to be told.

We saw men land upon The Moon,
For him it will be Mars.
His kids may go much further,
Even to the Stars.

He’s such a cheery chappie,
Chapman his mum’s maiden name!
I hope he will stay cheerful,
Though Life’s a funny old game.

I hope the world gets better,
For him and all his peers.
I’m sure he’ll be a pacesetter,
And not too many tears.

So here’s to futures bright,
For Jacob and the rest.
May there always be plenty of light,
Let’s wish them all the best.

Paul Butters

Jotted down in my diary "Notes" just after 1.30 AM. Jacob Gamble is of course my great nephew. As GM Hopkins said, "Generations have trod,have trod, have trod."
Darbilina Nov 2015

When you walk past me, I can feel the hatred burning in your heart.
When we make eye contact, I can feel regret swelling in my throat.
When I hear your name, I think about all the good times we had.
When I see you smile, I start screaming inside my head to look away.
When you run your fingers through your hair, I feel myself die inside.
When we avoid each other in the hall, I know everyone can see my pain.
When I talk about you, I feel like you're there with me, That's why I do.
When I see you, I taste the blood from my cheek warm on my tongue.
When I look away, I unclench my jaw before I realize it was even closed
When I realize what happened, I make sure nobody saw me staring at you.
When I know the coast is clear, I swallow the evidence.
When you’re through with me, I will have scars nobody can see.

Darbilina Nov 2015

You're like a headache that doesn’t go away.
When I try to erase you, you scream “No Way!”
All I hear is your throbbing, All I feel is your pain.
All your memories are burning a hole through my brain.
when our eyes meet, I’m the first to turn my head.
When I try to shake you off you only manage to spread.
I’ve only managed to love you, and I think that ruined me.
He was perfect, but my mind said, “If he’s not him we aren’t meant to be.”
I know you hate me, everyone does.
I just wish my love for you would fade away to fuzz.
I don’t only taste blood sometimes I taste microwave burritos or Twix
You ate yours with the cheese that always sticks
But now they only make me sick when I start to chew.
You wrestled your brother and let him win because he’s smaller than you.
I can only blame myself because it's my fault you’re gone.
I shouldn’t have been scared I should just held on.
maybe then I’d have butterflies in my stomach,
Not bees in my mind.

Do you ever do something or say something and think of me?
Jacob Traver Oct 2015

Distract the heart with other emotions than that of
Distract the heart with excitement, with laughter, with joy.
Distract it with memories of being a little girl and boy.
Distract it with conversations of intellectual thought,
Though sometimes distract it with those that are not.
Keep it enthralled with the day's many moments.
Enthrall it with what options that day were not chosen.
If sadness does come, welcome it to see
How deeply I do care for thee.
My dearest friend, the only
Whom I write of,
My heart is now

Jacob Traver Sep 2015

The mirror is shattered.
So without any reflection on the misuse of this image,
The shards will be incarnadine.

The bleeding will ne'er end.
It drips drops of thick sick thoughts,
Smothering the scattered shards.

A sight bred for horror.
Speckled endlessly, sorting sorrows
Into uniquely spattered shards.

The fulmination of self-imitation.
No longer are little words taken lightly.
You are now obscure shards.

I, too, once saw clearly.

Mirrors are often (overly) used as metaphors, similes, and symbols- what was set out to satirize and comment on the over use of the mirror imagery became one of my most cherished poems. Even though this was written awhile ago, I haven't published it until now and can only hope that the meaning comes across. But for you - poets of the mirror image - enjoy.
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