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Malia May 12
It’s like I’m walking
Home from school,
Counting the houses
That look the same.

It’s like I’m skipping
The cracks again,
Humming the tune
Inside of my head.

It’s like my shoe laces
Keep coming undone
No matter how much
I tie them up.

I pick at the thread
Hanging off of my sweater,
Not bothering to bend down
And double-knot.

And then when I trip,
I sit
And wonder
I'd rather feel icy touch
Than absence of your fingers
Disappointment clutched
Traces linger
Constant stress
And everything else we despised
I'd rather feel these than nothing I guess
Pain better than desolation disguised
You dragged me down darkened road
Threat of danger was a low-pitched hum
Senses burning seared and slowed
Rather feel the fire than be numb
Perceiving nerves stretch with agony
All I do is survive
Prefer ache over dull monotony
It proves that I'm still alive
Cause I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all
Jeremy Betts Mar 27
Life is tricky, gets sticky quickly
I'd love my day to day to be monotony heavy
This smile is a forgery
My demons are imaginary
Every foot placed in front of the other is scary
I've been doing it for 40 plus years, I'll figure it out eventually
Look how easily I lie to me
Do I know anything wholeheartedly?
Same sh*t different day,
And honestly,
I'd welcome blasé openly
I get the opportunity

Carlo C Gomez Mar 18
soap and water
          or shower

brick from mortar
boys against girls

urban velvet smog
city vapors clog

this train -- there is a line

this parking lot -- there is a line

open bar pharmacy, bottled water

                  no pity
                  no guarantees

dragon chasers
chin music
          lapsed short term memory loss

opening mail for grandmother
                the obituaries
                that ****** fly

a discussion among men
about a woman's voice
           come sit and listen

one last cigarette couple
walking home through the park
               driving alone in the dark
                             on the heels of
                             a reflection
                             of Christ
                             or an hourglass
                             in remission

them or not them
       just arrived
       just married
too many stairs
not enough elevators
worry about it later

them, definitely them
sharing beds
      under the leotard
      under the candlelight

a helping hand
finely manicured fingers
one stationary
        then two in missionary

word upon words need aspirin
                            pillow is the threshold
                            tomorrow...soap and water
Jeremy Betts Feb 7
There's a darkness in me
I mean, probably only figuratively
We'll have to wait and see
Seven masks of sin but one entity
All splitting a single fractured personality
Head spins wildly
I've searched quietly
I've asked loudly
I've had to cry and scream internally
Keeping it caged and locked inside has caused me to break down repeatedly
No outcome that I've found is a guarantee
So, I guess it's a guaranteed mystery
Of course it is, fuuck me...
Something that quite possibly will only make sense to me in a different plane of reality
...uh...that doesn't help at all actually
Hopeless is often a stand-in for the elusive positivity
It comes along so rarely one could hardly be blamed for questioning the authenticity
Then there's this two way brutality
It devours not because it's hungry but because it's so god daamn greedy
I'm not suppose to let it out of me
I'm told this as I feel it under my skin ripping up the already dilapidated basic human anatomy
This is a one man operation so it breaks out occasionally
But the goal though, if it were to ever be left up to me, my preferred destiny
The socially dreaded monotony
I embrace it knowing it will never be enough to right such a severe mental instability
Didn't think it was destined to be a doomed mission but maybe it was done vainly
It's not easily put into words but it feels like thievery
It's stolen chunks of life from me and didn't have the decency to even leave me a silver hair sliver of a memory
Turned me into a mockery of Jeremy
Right back to the old me
My own worst enemy
A part I've played so absolute I almost destroyed me
I've explained it to me slowly
Barley made it this far and the next 40,
They're looking to be just as iffy
Half devils reject, half whatever you see
Sprinkle in a little lie here and there as a preserve for longevity
Worry about it later, only if it bites me
100% broken but realistically only maybe half evil so, you know, 333

Jeremy Betts Nov 2023
I'm not the only me I see when I see me looking back at me
Bewildered by the impossibility of a blind visionary with the foresight to look past me to find me
I got caught staring so intently I lost sight of the true me completely
You see such savagery and think it must have been nurtured from infancy
While true, I had it in check, hidden away in the captivity of a long forgotten memory
But it still remembered me, waited patiently, predicting my return with a whimsical accuracy
It heard me frantically trying to find the glass to break in case of emergency
Not to set it free but to once again embrace what was scary, what might be the reality of the actual me
Instantly I handed over the key, didn't even keep a copy for me
Knowing exactly what I was doing and what it'd do to me mentally
It was always going to happen this way eventually
Finding solace in it's monotony, no more uncertainty
Both wake up and go to bed with the same angry energy
Done with the pleasantry and all the pageantry projected outwardly to seem more neighborly
Just so the world could be more comfortable with me when I pass through their snooty, gated community
While it pays no mind to what's being done to my psyche
This self destructive entity wasn't only the part of my reality I was told to bury
It is the entirety of my history, sad and happy, comedy and tragedy
I was it and it was me, the merger went so smoothly I believed it was absolutely meant to be, probably
Fighting myself got messy and wasn't necessarily a necessity
In the end there was no surprise who's hand was raised in victory
I already knew the part of me that held superiority but everyone else said it'd turn out differently
Like they got some kind of decoder key
Of course it didn't and they don't, thankfully I was welcomed back too once again become my own worst enemy
It ain't good company but I personally accept that personality and it's starting to warm up to me finally
It's been a strange journey, be thankful I didn't ask you to join me

My Dear Poet Jun 2023
For every drip that drops
theres a kiss on your lip
we can’t stop
the tick proceeds the tock,
on every clock

Little bits of bitterness
makes a mess of emptiness
The pleases of teases
satisfy our happiness
And all that it will leave us
is pure **** of nothingness

Other than that soft
sweet scent of sweetness
Where only you can meet this
going back to our first kiss
that I myself so miss
My Dear Poet Feb 2022
Sunlight, moonlight
Come with their own greeting
Sun says, “good morning”
Moon replies, “good evening”.

Clockwork shift change
Little conversation on the horizon
Clocking in, clocking out
Leaving and arriving
Ayesha Jun 2021
Here I lurk
Clutching my shadow
In my fists
It shivers, shrivels, sighs
A flame shushed to silence
On its ashen throne
Here I grasp
Grasp the oozing, burning night
That drips down my fingers
A palm beneath a palm I place
A palm beneath another
It the creamy tiles kisses
And will come to me no more

A rumble wobbles
around the room
Of laughs and talks
And talks
However do I mingle
In these faceless folks?
However do I fathom
All these massless worlds
Orbiting around ecstatic tongues
That birth them
Birth them on and on
Birth them meaningless, and birth them blind

I think,
Maybe when the flood dies out
I think,
Maybe then I will see
Pick up the shells this land could not drink
And read the tales preserved
In their wounds
Maybe the drunken ghosts
Serving all these brightly dressed drinks
Will approach me too—

Not yet though
Not yet

I pull little hymns out of my throat
Roll them around in my mouth
It is there they sway,
There they wilt

A gaze chained to my eyes
Wanders about
Like an injured fly
On one face it rests
On one chuckle stumbles,
A crack skipping down the wall
A high-pitched laugh blooming
In the corner
There is a bleakness, believe me
In this world

A bleakness so pitiless and rotten
Its stench covers all that is born
All that is not
There is a bleakness
And I often mistake it for my own
But I do not now
It is there in every eye
In every corpse hanging between the ribs
It grows up like a sturdy ****
On arms and legs and
Up and down the aisle it flows
In this classroom twinkling
with childish mirth

Up and down
It pats heads and laughing cheeks
It is there
It is there
And will not still
Will not stir either

I think,
I must warn them
These energetic faces trying
to resurrect joy
From the flesh of stories all skinned alive
Warn them
I must, I must
But the words pile up
And floods pile up
One upon the other thousands
And I lose myself somewhere

The chatter blends in with the chortle
And I cannot tell
The shadows imagined
From cloaked figures swaying around
I would warn them, believe me
Warn them I would
If only
If only I could grasp hold
Of this darkness
That mimics me everywhere I go
Ghost of a black lamb
I once sacrificed for
A purity I loved to violence

And longing never became
A shackle so well

I think,
maybe when the flood dies down
I will breathe,
I will breathe maybe
Here we lurk
A slave upon a slave rests
A slave beneath still
Two ghosts I birthed,
Two lambs opened up,
One will not love me
And one will not not—

Panicking in the academy, but at least I got a poem out of it
Ayesha Jun 2021
Sometimes, sometimes
I will sit in my own room like a stranger
I will gracefully drag the chair out its den
And run my fingers through the white fur
That is white no longer
It lies there inviting
But I prop myself on the table instead
Head just touching the shelves above
Books kissed by dry dust
College notes never noticed
An empty fruitcake box
A candy wrapper
I run my gazes up and down the walls
Up and down
Up and down

A disheveled slave girl bare—
Still for me
Someone has covered her wounds
With poems ripped out of forgotten books
Her tears slide down like curious cracks
Beneath the silver veil
A bottle of Kerosine oil sits patiently near the pallet,
Rows of paint tubes
Children’s beds in a quiet, orphanage hall

Unfinished canvases awaiting a god
Brushes scattered around
Scattered like arms and legs
and skulls
In a tired battlefield

Sometimes I reread the stories
Scribbled on the doors
Quotes as bullet shells
and hollow

Like a stranger
I admire the designs on the wall picture
Leaves of all the races
And the blueness beneath
Like a stranger
This silent, beautiful girl I see
For as a lover I have long ceased
A shy dove scared
Quietly humming a tune
I have never known

I look for the person who smiles in the pictures
The girl who’s known to talk to the walls
But the bed is empty
And folks in the photos
Will not meet my eyes
The verses swirl around in the air
And fumes of the oil
Rise up
Slow as the arrival of blooms
Slow as a withering moon
Till they are everywhere
A horde of soldiers
Marching down my throat

There is no one here
Somebody once taped the roses to the window
And painted suns on pieces of stray T-shirts
hung them up as tapestries
But they are not here now
The walls reek of aridity
A slave girl who will not smile

They like to preach to us to
Always be ourselves
But who are we—
Some fancy clothes wrinkled on the floor
As if passed out after a jolly evening
A fidget spinner
Spinning spinning spinning
In my hands
The fan groaning—
A symphony struggling to scream
And fumes rise up

I jump off the table
And slide the window open
The city, a worried lover, rushes in
It kisses the room
Its beautified bruises
Washes her with light
Air jolts the calendar awake
“Are you here?”
“Are you here?” It seems to ask
Are you here, are you here, are you—
And the walls nod their tired nods
A practiced, perfected ritual

Sometimes, some nights
I will tread through my own writings
Trail touches down
My own drawings, looking
For myself
Looking, looking,
And forever on search

Sometimes, sometimes I will realise
that no matter how many plants I hang
And words
I nail to these walls
To make them mine
I will always be a stranger to this room
Searching the stalls for another anklet
that will smile a star
in her next alluring dance—
A slave girl
And her golden crown.

sometimes, sometimes
I write a lot of cringe
I can already see the adult me
trying to burn this one
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