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A B Perales Jun 9
It's been 7 years today since my last release from Prison.
The longest I've been home since I was 15.

I made a lot of bad choices along the way
most of which only hurt myself and my family.

Prison is no place to grow up in,
I learned how to shave in prison,
got my first tattoo, lost my first love
and learned what things like
loyalty and sacrifice really meant.

I wasted a lot of good years in there
most of them due to someone else's weakness,
fears and inability to accept the consequences
of their own actions.

It hasn't been easy and I've missed out on a lot.
But I can go to sleep and look at myself in the mirror
knowing that I never gave anyone up.
I remain loyal
and I'm still here.
Even though there are
those who wish I wasn't.
Never forget never give in  STATE RAISED
A B Perales Jun 3
It kept me
numb
and numb was the
only feeling I
was searching
for.

I used enough
in those days
to avoid
feeling any
type of emotion
for too long.

And when I
cried,
it was mostly
over a memory
of a time when
I should
have cried
but
was too numb
to care.
from the archives
A B Perales Jun 3
I had almost mastered the art of making my way through life without making too much noise.

I had spent the last 6 years mostly alone.
Concentrated all my efforts on trying to stay out of prison.
Worked on the writing and the poetry.
And doing all I could to just be forgotten.

I had kicked up enough dust in my early years to spend the majority of my adult life behind bars.
Came home with more tattoos, another strike and a
Monkey on my back.
I was home with greying hair, a bullet in my hand that hurt like hell, an ex wife who hated me, kids who didn't know me and friends who had forgotten all about me.

I move as low to the ground as possible now days.
I went out only when I had to.
I was just trying not to be noticed.
Hoping that maybe they'll forget about all the bad I had done
and just let me grow old in silence.

I spent  my 43rd birthday in a coin-op laundromat that reminded me of a crude jail house day-room.
Concrete floors, metal picnic tables with a large tv bolted to the wall .
Nothing was made for comfort and everything had some type of a lock on it.

She walked up carrying what looked like everything she owned.
She struggled with the door and the laundry in her arms.
I quickly stood up from my seat on the cold steel bench and offered to relieve her of some of her burden, to which she shyly obliged.
She was far to pretty to be alone and I was half waiting on a boyfriend to appear.

Nobody ever taught her how to be polite.
She didn't know what being gracious even meant until she met me.

She'd say " Don't blame me I wasn't raised right", it was our lil joke but a joke that was far  to real.

It was her beauty that saved her.
Her body was what most women would never have.
Men felt a burning desire at the sight of her.
Which she used to her advantage when needed.
It's what helped her get by during the roughest of times.

She wasn't a ***** but they didn't know that.
By the time they had realized she wasn't giving what they wanted she would have already packed her things and left for good.

Men would promise her almost everything when all she really wanted was something to call her own.

Her front tooth was chipped from a fight with an ex boyfriend.
The minor flaw only added to her rare type of natural beauty.
Light freckles across the bridge of her nose.
She had scared up boney knuckles and always wore thick silver rings on 4 of her fingers.
Naturally long eyelashes and acne scared cheeks she'd hide with cover up.

What she knew of the world was almost comical, she hadn't been anywhere and wasn't planning on going anywhere any time soon.
What she lacked in social skills couldn't compare to what she knew how to do in bed.

I gave her a safe place to rest without having to worry.
She gave me reason to shower in the morning and comb my hair before bed.

We played chess which was a surprise to me when she asked me if I played.

I introduced her to  Bukowski, Dante and Virgil.
She brought a strange type of warmth to my otherwise cold lonely apartment .
Our time was a break from the isolation and a reminder of how it was to be with another.
She brought back memories I had long ago forced
myself to forget.

Her only rule was that I never asked about her past.
What she wanted me to know she would share on her own.
My only request was that she never asked me to stop using
and when she felt it was time to move on ,she wouldn't take the time to say goodbye.
For "D" Knock'em dead sweetheart.
jrae Mar 7
Bleary-eyed, an old man asks for change,
coins rattling in his hand. A woman
hands him saltine crackers across the aisle.
“God bless you,” he mutters, takes a seat,
and unwraps the plastic with shaking hands.
He smiles at her before she leaves the train.

Tonight, the passengers on the train
are surprisingly quiet for a change.
We are all staring down at our hands.
And then the silence breaks - a woman
cackles aloud to herself in her seat.
Her laughter travels up and down the aisle.

I overhear a conversation across the aisle
between a couple who’ve just entered the train,
and are searching for a pair of empty seats.
They’re muttering “the country is changing”
and they say they are afraid. The woman
sighs, and reaches for her lover’s hand.

I look over at a child holding her mother’s hand.
I meet the little girl’s gaze from across the aisle.
I see myself as a child too, but to her I’m a woman.
I wonder how often the little girl rides the train.
Does she long to see something else for a change -
something other than the back of a seat?

I notice a lady who has started dancing in her seat,
snapping her fingers and waving her hands,
bobbing to a silent beat. I imagine her changing
into a sequined dress and waltzing down the aisle,
giving everyone a performance to watch on the train.
I imagine standing up and dancing with that woman

and then everyone begins to dance with the woman -
we all jump up onto our seats
and suddenly we are in a ballroom, not a train.
We are tapping our feet and clapping our hands
to the music - the little girl across the aisle
is dancing with the old man who asked for change.

The train stops. We’ve arrived at my station. The dancing woman leaves the train. The passengers change and now there are strangers in their seats. I wave my hand goodbye to the little girl as I walk past her down the aisle.
"A Sestina is a French verse form, usually unrhymed, consisting of six stanzas of six lines each and a three-line envoy. The end words of the first stanza are repeated in a different order as end words in each of the subsequent five stanzas; the closing envoy contains all six words, two per line, placed in the middle and at the end of the three lines. The patterns of word repetition are as follows, with each number representing the final word of a line, and each row of numbers representing a stanza:

          1 2 3 4 5 6
          6 1 5 2 4 3
          3 6 4 1 2 5
          5 3 2 6 1 4
          4 5 1 3 6 2
          2 4 6 5 3 1
          (6 2) (1 4) (5 3) "
Norman Crane Feb 3
The only thing I learned
In this ocean of stars
Is that I can drown anywhere
there were dandelions on the grass
dear girl, the smell of an Alcatraz flower is fresh on my linen
but sometimes I look back
and wonder if this city wears a too thick a coat
while it struts pantless over the sidewalks of
Macarther Park

there is liturgy mumbled, a woman waving her hands in the air–
Sunday school prayers being learned in Spanish
tri-folded pamphlets on the floor
and gum over the pavement blackened by the cooperative march
of immigrant workers speaking in all tongues and carrying
on their backs, the tower of babel while halted at a red light

heavy cargo trucks speeding down Alameda Street
wearing down the road and the patience of drivers
tents multiplied, and R.V's lining the streets  
the old buildings being torn down and neighboring apartments  getting face-lifts  
"beautification"
costs
more than headshots–
more than a rhinoplasty–
more than the real estate of DTLA–
when you see two kids come out of a tent with their school backpacks on
–you begin to grasp the price

Is this what Keats meant: "A thing of beauty is a joy forever "
even while destitute
the neon pink on their bags seemed like another gift of spring
and their perseverance the paragon of  a psalm of life
Meat Stevens Jan 2020
While you’re sleeping
The spiders bathe in your nightstand water
As the mosquitos play you Copeland’s “Fanfare For The Common Man”
The worms use you as a blanket
The bees outside your window spread rumors about the Praying Mantis
The roaches climb the bedpost to get a better view
and the ants want to be left alone cause they’re too busy working on their own things
while the Praying Mantis makes a move on the Brown Widow
It’s actually not a widow it’s a  Brown Recluse according my roommate, Charlie
He tells me their bites are harmless
But I don’t believe him
So I take a picture and ask someone on reddit spiders
and they tell me it looks like a Brown Widow but the photo quality isn’t too clear
I mean I got up as close as I could to take the picture
And we should really call an exterminator
Because the Ladybugs now won’t shut up about the Mantis
And the Moths are making a mess in the kitchen
And it’s really Gal the landlords job to handle it
But he’s too busy being a heart surgeon on the side so I guess I’ll have to do it
I’ll call today. I’ll call now.
Meat Stevens Jan 2020
Microdosing mushrooms and brandy  
Pots and pans to bang
Walking round gallery’s and show rooms
You say no I say dang
I’m whacked out and bleeding garlic
I stank like frat boy boat shoe
You look disheveled and I love it
I unoriginally ask about your tattoo

You know I really want to *******
I want you to take me home
Don’t want you to see my apartment
Don’t want you to see my zone
Living in ***** laundry and unopened letters
Allstate  insurance and catalogs
When’s the last time I took the trash out
When’s the last time I walked the dog

You ask me if it’s *******
I say no it’s ketamine
You ask me if you can try it
You ask me if it’s clean
I say baby there ain’t nothing better
It’s the bees knees and the bugaloo
Just stay away from the edge now deary
Or I’ll have to go fishing for you
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