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Ma Cherie Jan 2017
I cried those words,
into puddling paragraphs,
just spilling sentences,
tripping on my tongue,
into rapidly coursing chapters,
pulsating pages,
fast moving meter,
in rivers of rhymes,
stacks of biblical books,
etched in my mind,
carved by hand,
on my life's headstone,
made of bethel gray granite,
to read :    Here lies a poet.
                
Ma Cherie © 2017
Idk where this came from lol
Andrew T Aug 2016
Fairfax Station’s socialite, a trustfundee
Still hallucinates on a lone hammock
In her penthouse.
Her ex-idols still burn the light green foliage
From the Tree of Experience. Her sister’s a screenwriter
Who lives near downtown in a cobwebbed basement.
Each morning she composes a page of dialogue. Usually
There the fragments of yesterday’s conversations
With an insomniac. She is the turned page
In a worn storybook.

Her shutter snaps mental photographs
Through a blurred lens. The girls’ father
Is a patient in an asylum, in his leisure, he treads
Water in a soiled bedpan. Psychotherapy and straightjackets
Cannot restrain his work ethic for Art. Before his admittance
To the institution, in his studio, on a giant canvass
He painted the green youth that struggles to
Grow in an elementary school. The socialite is undeclared
In her major. Unsure of faith leaping.

Remains pessimistic at charity functions. Vast
Auditoriums with smudged tablecloth. She’s accompanied
By an entourage of underdeveloped emotions.
On occasion she side glances from a hand mirror
At a potential love interest. It’s too soon.
The spring is a late bloomer, blue frost clings
To the edges of grass blades. At a coffee shop on
The corner of Main and North Harrison Street,
The screenwriter raps away at her laptop; talking
To herself.

Her coffee foams at the mouth with expired cream.
A welcomed patron to this local getaway;
This is where her father used to read her articles
From the Washington Post. He nearly hanged himself
After the car accident. His wife’s body smashed
Halfway through a windshield. Around his wrist
Is the Movado, she gave him for their anniversary.
For months now, for an hour before night class,
Our writer opens up her treasure chest of demons
To a word document.

She’s almost thirty. The divorce took her strength,
Along with her two legacies. Yesteryear, or
Was it the day before yesteryear? The talented
Family met at a Hibachi restaurant. They had a
Gift card to use. It was a day after the funeral; there black
Clothes were wrinkled, just a bit. Napkins lay
Folded over their laps. Silverware untouched.
Hot bowls of miso soup grew cold. Visits to
The bathroom were common. Tsnumai of
Mixed emotions: trickled, flooded, filled there eyes.

The foreign chef noticed their mood, he
Could only offer body language. In the air
Swan eggs were cracked into two halves.
The yolk sizzled on the aluminum surface.
Fire soared from an onion volcano. Mouths
Watered, and eyes were parched. Kobe steak,
Grilled vegetables, juicy chicken, fried rice.
They chewed their food with shut mouths
And gutwrenched eyes. They sat and ate
Until every last morsel disappeared.

Over her balcony, she leans on the railing
Of her loft. Ashtray spills Marlboro’s remains
That plummet onto a city of funny people.
She can’t use humor as a defensive mechanism,
Why should she? Her credit card is her alcohol.
Her eyes daydream of elevators
And clothing stores. She lays out in
Her hammock, wondering why an automobile
Had to be the antagonist.
They all live above the billboards, below the heavens.
Andrew T Aug 2016
You painted your eyelids with green velvet and ruby red. The fractured mirror kept your insecurity at bay, as sparkle blue glitter poured all over your head from a little tin can.

We drove across the bridge, and through Shocko bottom, stopping at a nearly deserted parking lot sanctioned by an honor code. We double parked behind an Acura sedan, and waited as you snorted half a gram of Molly off your manicured fingernail into each
nostril.

You took in a deep breath, smoked a Parliament, and blew smoke out the
window. After ten minutes we shambled out of the car with our purses tucked under our armpits, and red fire dying in our eyes. When we reached the Hat Factory venue, the line disappeared from our view and we walked to the entrance where two bouncers were posted up. The tall giants marked our hands with black sharpie ink, drawing a large, bold “X” on each one.

Once inside the spacious warehouse, we ascended a white marble staircase and paid a ten dollar entry fee. Another doorman took out his marker and drew a red line, crossing through the dark black “X” that was drying on our hands. You broke off and away, going
straight to the bar. The bartender asked what you wanted to drink, and you requested water. She smiled and gave you a red solo cup filed with tap water and ice-cubes. After you thanked her, she handed you a bright pink glow stick that you wrapped around your forearm, fitting a figure 8 around your skin like a cloth sleeve.

On the stage was a young man dressed in neon colored plaid and skinny jeans. He climbed up a tall stepladder and jumped from the top, belly flopping on a beautiful African Queen bodacious gluteus Maximus, daggering deep into her soaking black spandex, the decadent bodies swimming on top of each other, stroking and staining the pink gymnastic mat with hot sweat and salt. A huge beach ball colored with red, white,
yellow, and blue pinwheel stripes sailed through the air over the balcony, smacking into a deathly thin model who was smoldering her Parliament cigarette into a clear glass
ashtray.

Mollywopped undergraduates gathered around circles where reggae artists harpooned inflatable black and white killer whales with thrift store bought switchblades.

Laying flat on his stomach was an Asian photographer snapping away with his Nikon digital SLR camera, pale hipsters in ***** black blazers and black fedoras hurling red and purple plastic assault rifles into the intense mass of worry-stricken college students carefree for the moment, gyrating and grinding to the womp-womp bass booming from rectangular speakers that squished in a disc jockey and his hardwood stand with his mixer and two turn tables. He scratched the needle along the worn edge of a battle-scarred vinyl record. His fingers zigzagged the sliders, pressed down on buttons, turned up the volume knobs.

Some hyper-maniac golden child bounced around the dance floor, sneaking up behind university sophomores mesmerized by the makeshift floodlights in the rafters blinking on and off. Conversations were made in the head, but never opened up when the girl approached. Stuck up super senior girls with heavy black mascara and matted eyelashes raised their eyebrows and swatted away ***** flies with a wave of their lotioned hand.

***** girls dress in high heels and septum piercing, their ear cartilage stabbed through by unclean metal. A rude person bumps into the Hyper-maniac golden child, causing the golden child to shove squarely into the rude person’s back. Name-calling ensues, threats fired and received, looks exchanged and bitterness rose over any other tension in the fuming room.

In the far right corner were a couple of kids making out; they’d just met.

Walking away from the fight, sidling between sweaty **** people, the golden child swayed upstairs to the second floor, passed another bar and balcony tables, chairs, and dance platforms.
He went through a swinging door and joined a conversation between
a bunch of strangers. Wary around the golden boy, he starts practicing his standup Comedy routine, almost bombing on the first joke. Cheap jacks burned bright orange after a blue flame ignited the tapered paper end. Arms snared around the golden child’s body. Oh how nice! It was his friend from Modern Grammar class, he used to sit next to
her in the second row and copied homework answers from the blackboard with her.
She was happy.
And he was happy.
spysgrandson Jun 2016
the white coat lords,  
the army of nurses, the aides, didn't think
he understood their language

nor did they know
he had been a warrior in his homeland
and bore scars, inside, out

they paid little attention,
as he buffed lackadaisical linoleum, scrubbed porcelain *******,
making them ethereally white

though the amputees,
the hobbled, the battle burned, would wake
to the sound of his labors:

his broom swaying to and fro,
a softer metronome for their ringing ears
a cadence of condolences
for their beating hearts
Andrew T May 2016
Restless in bed, the stir of warmth blossoming in his heart,
the girl he loved has gone,
drifted from his house to the field of vacant stares.
Rainstorms brew in his mind, shifting from one end to the other,
the current forming into a large sheet of distance damp with disconnection.
He thinks of fire. As he rolls out of bed.
Grabbing a cigarette from his ashtray,
he lights up. Old habits stay kept in the roof of his mouth. Fresh air
permeates through his nostrils as he steps out onto the front porch.
He props his elbows on the balustrade,
brushes against the grainy wood
tarnished from the skywater.
The sun droops below the gray cluster of clouds
hanging over a horizon colored with blues, reds, and yellows.
While he smokes on his cigarette he remembers the girl. Her name is a
wrinkled photograph stored in a dusty shoe box.
She has green eyes and curly red hair.
Her body is shaped in an hourglass figure.
She's tall and gaunt, but her
legs are toned from running several miles on her treadmill
each morning before the dark slips away into the fog of light.
He grounds the cigarette out on the porch. He steps onto the driveway. There's a red
Honda CRV parked across from the two-car garage.
He hops in. The key turns.
Booming engine roars out loud.
The wheels churn backwards. He pulls out of the
cul-de-sac. And he drives, drives,
until he can remember the road map, the one
that she stole from him to follow her dreams, and hopes, the aspirations that he had
once shared with her. A thin, white film of mist
belays across the windshield.
And for a short second he wishes that he were dead.
Dead so that he could have the
perspective of an omniscient narrator to oversee everything, and everyone.
But where is his girl? She's not the one who got away,
she's the one who abandoned him, the
night after he ate the sweet nectar,
the fruit, little drops of dew splashing onto the back of his tongue.
The red Honda CR-V careens down the interstate, windows down, subwoofers pumping
with something similar to apprehension,
tense with overwrought poems.
The substance lacking from trying too hard,
for something that wants nothing to do with him.
Andrew T May 2016
In Northern Virginia, for the ladies of wealth, Sunday mornings begin with a hangover, a Virginia Slim, and a Xanax. The day transitions to brunch at Liberty Tavern: one mimosa and one ****** Mary; an omelet with green and red peppers; and another round of mimosas and another ****** Mary, because: why in the world not?

For Thu—a Vietnamese American—Sunday mornings always begin with a different routine.  

She comes downstairs to the dining room, steps around the bundle of adult diapers, and pulls back the curtain that leads to her parents.

There, on the far right corner, her Dad lays on an electric bed, his eyes sleepy as if he had drunk too much whiskey from the night before. His mouth agape, he has a face of a man who has lived for many years. In fact he has, 80 something years in fact. His arm hangs over the railing, blue veins protruding from the skin.

Thu pulls the blinds and light comes seeping through the window.

Her Dad smiles as the sunlight warms up his face.

Thu lifts him out of bed and into his wheelchair and travels with him, looping around the house in a circle: starting with the dining room, then the foyer, through the hallway, out the kitchen, and then back to the dining room. She tries to make him walk at least three rounds. Sometimes he makes it, sometimes he doesn’t.

He grunts and curses in Vietnamese, his walker scraping against the marble and hardwood floors. He moves the walker, using the little strength he has in his biceps and the muscles in his right leg.

Two years ago, her Dad had a stroke, leaving the right side of his body impaired and aching. Ever since then, he’s been trying to recover. He spends his time watching soccer and UFC on a television with a line running across the screen. He has caretakers who assist him with going to the bathroom and showering.

His wife is the only thing that keeps him going. She has Alzheimer’s and at random times in the night she’ll open up the refrigerator and search for food, because during the day she hardly eats a bite. She walks around in a cardigan and cotton pants, a toothpick jutting out from her mouth. She enjoys lying on the sofa and making phone-calls to her friends.

But she often misdials the numbers, startled when she hears a voice of a stranger on the other end of the line. She tells the stranger she doesn’t know English, shutting her eyes before trying to dial another number.

Thu has lived in Northern VA for many years, 18 years to be exact. She’s a Hokie. She’s an avid watcher of Criminal Minds. And she enjoys apple cider with a side of kettle-corn. Despite having to cook and look after her parents, she never complains. Never gets upset. Never says that life is unfair.

Later on in the day, she’s wearing a blouse dotted with blue flowers, a pair of gray sweatpants, and open-toed sandals.

When her daughter Vicki walks into the kitchen, she makes a remark about her posture. Vicki scoffs, no longer trying to seek her approval, but when Thu’s back’s turned, she straightens out her posture. Thu never makes a comment about her boyfriend. That’s a lost cause in her eyes. Once Thu doesn’t approve on a relationship that’s the end of it. She wants the best for her daughter, pushes her to be the best at what she does.

Thu used to live in Saigon. When the war ended, she had fallen in love with a boy who lived next door to her. He was her first love. He would write love poems to her. Sometimes they would hold hands. Once they had shared a kiss.

They were young and deeply in love. But as the war finished up, they moved on from each other. The boy went to live with his family in Australia, while she moved to America. After they broke up, Thu would still think about him. He was the one who dumped her.

The breakup crushed her heart. But she didn’t let it mar her dignity. Time passed by, Thu moved to Virginia and she went to high school in Fairfax County. The letters started pouring in from the boy. But she had too much pride and she didn’t respond until one day.

That was the day that John Lennon was murdered in cold blood.

She was heartbroken like every other person in the world. Yet, she also thought of the boy and how much he loved John Lennon.

Thu remembers reading the newspaper, seeing John Lennon’s face on the front page of the paper. She took a pair of scissors and cut a square around John’s face. Then she wrote a letter to the boy. And then she sealed the newspaper clipping and the letter in an envelope and begged her mom over the phone to send the letter to the boy. Her mom was still in Saigon and somehow she made contact with the boy and gave the letter to him.

A month later, she opened the mail and there was a letter from the boy.

She read the letter, stifled a cry, and then proceeded to write. The next day she sent the letter. Thu was happy to read his words. It was as though she could hear his voice through his sentences. Like he was there next to her, looking at her, speaking to her spirit.

Days passed. Weeks passed. And then after a month she realized he wasn’t going to respond back to her letter. She couldn’t believe that he didn’t give her a response.

“And that’s the end of the story,” Thu said to her son.

“What do you mean that’s the end of the story? That can’t be the end!”

“Well you’re the writer, right? Think of an ending.”

Okay. So here it goes.

Thu smiles, her eyes grow sleepy, and her head slumps over. She starts to snore, very loudly in fact. But it’s cute and you’re hoping that she’s dreaming, dreaming about something relentlessly lovely.

— The End —