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Flint Holcomb May 24
I sometimes am afraid
To go outside
Because there is a high chance
Of being trampled by elephants

They roam the streets
Seemingly peaceful to the untrained eye
But these elephants can turn on a dime
And crush you underfoot

The only way to be safe around them
Is to wear an elephant mask
And crush the mask-less with them
Filling you with guilt

I sometimes am afraid
To go outside
Because there is a high chance
Of being trampled by elephants
Lilli Sutton Apr 4
Honey on the table
or spilled out –
whatever keeps the fruit flies
coming back.
We went above the river
to see the flood water rising;
it has rained all winter
and now the blue sky feels unnatural.

We used to dream about Washington,
and you’d tell me not to worry
about the gray skies or the rain.
I survived one week in rainforests
and glacial rivers. It has never felt
like enough – maybe we’ll move
to the same town and live on opposite streets.

Lately I have snapped in pieces of the puzzle
but the closer I get to finishing,
the less I want to – there is an answer
in a place too deep to reach.

My whole body has been sick
and I pretend I don’t know the reason –
you said you’d take whatever I would give
so is it wrong of me to give you less –
I don’t know how to quantify the guilt I carry.

Maybe I’ll sell all my belongings,
head west, to a cabin in the forest
and when people look for me
all they’ll hear is the howling of the wind.
02.26.19.
Lilli Sutton Apr 4
All the lights were shut off on the bridge
rolling into town; bitter wind rising off the river –
the same wind that’s been blowing
since last night, or even earlier –
when we went to the park and you talked
about driving west with other friends.
I guess that’s supposed to hurt me.

The wind keeps howling
on the drive home the road was covered in sticks
I worried that the train would tip over
and crush me – but I’ve been getting better
at taking blows.

Yesterday was warm and the wind felt right.
We’re getting older – isn’t that – terrifying –
you said you didn’t think you’d make it this far
the last train stop, either get off
or ride the whole way back. Lately I feel translucent,
like you can see right through my intentions
even when I don’t say things out loud.
I’m self-conscious about the inside of me,
about the black stains creeping higher.

Sometimes in the wind I am the bird of prey,
and sometimes the rabbit.
02.25.19.
Lilli Sutton Apr 4
The nightmare continues!
Another installment, and I let it keep going
last night we drank ***** and lemonade
and joked about oceanic trenches
he can name all the trees
and I know what goes on deep below the surface
I think we both wish it was the opposite.

He says I’m the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen
and that he’ll never love anyone
the way he loves me –
and that in his poems, I’m a natural disaster:
so he got one thing right:
my ability to desecrate.

She loves him! And he loves me,
and I want nothing to do with any of it –
I pretend, although I am afraid
that I pull all the strings
reality is a sick attempt
at the six-year question:
I can’t untangle myself from the mess
the layers of mistakes that lead to now.

So I go on a bike ride
I look up to see the sycamores
I love the big leafless trees that hug the riverbanks
the Potomac is overflowing, fast and brown
my bike is rusted and clouds hang heavy
in the sky, but I beat the raindrops
and maybe I beat the nightmare, too.
02.15.19.
Jonathan Surname Aug 2018
I live a breath's away from the oldest river in the world.
While I don't take much of nature in it is awe inspiring,
to be sure.
I live within the crook of the oldest mountains in our history.
Not the tallest,
nor the proudest,
but for now these ranges are growing senile within their misery.

The riverrun through it and exposes rock perhaps a billion years old.
Our oral histories, passed on legends,
scary stories and mountaineer folklore accounts for
such a small passage of time.
We built a bridge once.
It was at one time the longest single-span arch in the world.
Now it's the fourth.
Top five, and that's something for which I am proud.
The oldest river, in the world.
The oldest mountains, in the world.
The highest fatal overdose rate, in the States.

There is a beauty to be had here. Somewhat backwards, but
growing up our water was clear.
It's now choked from coal slurry.
The brain drain of young adults leaving, in much hurry,
hurts us as the ones that remain become grey and blurry.
We are living in a permanent winter and we have high roads,
that wind and curve. Dangerous when icy. veins filled with
heavy loads and nodding verve.
I live a breath's away from the oldest river in the entire world.
I can't touch Roman ruins with my hands, or
sift through the Dead Sea and float on salt above sand.
I can't touch the hill where Jesus may have died,
I don't know what it feels like to hold history as pride.
But our trees even when green have a dusty coal darkened sheen.
Summer is overgrowth from the Springtime rains.
The highest fatal overdose rate in the entire United States.

Where once we built bridges to close in the gap of travel.
We unzip black bags with rigs and object with obvious cavil.
Our industry is old, the world is moving on from coal.
For better, to be sure, but in the meantime we grow cold.
Not from lack of heat, we can boil our spoons just fine.
But we need a replacement from shaft or the mountaintop mine.
Let us worry about beauty again,
let us treat addiction with correction instead of levying it as sin.
Remove the pantomiming politician speak
of addicts or the sick as being weak.

Let's find ourselves again, West Virginia. You're the only home I've known.
Childhood summertimes sat beneath canopies of caterpillar home,
the happy baby butterflies eating leaves so more sun could shone.
Walking sticks used to play with me in my yard,
and at nighttime I'd still be outside mouth agape at the stars.
Evening meant lightning bugs and I'd capture a few in the cup of my hands.
There was a whimsy to how nature responded to us,
how bees would bumble and land,
on the dandelions whose seeds I'd spread as I blew on their white
polyp heads.
Maybe it's nostalgia and my memories are tinted rosy.
The smell of wood stoves burning in winter,
the crispness of autumn breezes felt cozy.
There was a trust held in communities, or maybe I was naïve.
Some of my friends made a choice and moved.
Others among us took a more permanent leave.
My brother, too. He himself got in a lot of trouble.
Over the cotton swab boiled to a bubble.
He died when I was young so maybe everybody is right.
It's all sentimentality and a lot of lonely nights.
But does the past being ****** up make the worsening now fine?

I live a breath's away from the oldest river and mountain range.
I live with the highest fatal overdose rate in the United States.
there's much debate as to whether the New River or the Appalachian/Blue Ridge/Allegheny mountains are, in fact, the oldest.
there is, however, no debate as to whether or not West Virginia (WV) holds the highest fatal overdose rate in the US

In 2010 WV held one of the highest fatal overdose rates,
By 2017 much of the country's overdose rates increased
WV's 2010 numbers are higher than 60% of the country's 2017 numbers,
and WV's 2017 are higher than everybody else's.

This is not to meant to take away the pain that's transcended broadly throughout the country. This is not meant to be diminishing, not even remotely, but it is meant to shine a solemn light.

I'm sorry for those of you that may know somebody who has passed on from drugs, or that may be currently struggling with their addictions. Whether it's opiates, alcohol, or prescriptions.
But let's try to remove some of the stigma surrounding addiction.

Forgive some stolen money.
Avoid gossip and rumor.
Reach out to somebody who may have fallen away from the crowd.
I'd much rather live with an addict than haunted by a ghost.

thank you for reading
Jonathan Surname Aug 2018
To the limits!
And the heaves are harmed, in our lungs
and arms. Tendons flexed on their utmost,
and breath at play in the drowned coast.

To the shores!
And the leaves are left as specks of colour,
from the moors.
and vacations left the hinterlands
of the decayed, breathless holler.

For the greater good we stood as imagined heroes,
Yet for happenstance to lend a chance in our woes,
required a great many motifs
to clamour and climb
In glamourous time
to the raised butte
of a finishing sublime.

Modulate the past and harmonize the future.
Together tapestry'd, akin to patchwork suture.

We weren't raised this way.
To remain forever at play, workhorses neigh.
And sawing brilliance and sawdust eyes,
rapier wit with no equal.
But together a two-parter,
to the shores to see the sea quell.

Wildfire lick like lit flame.
Burn it all down and give me the blame.
It's a carried burden worth the worry.

In mountains some exist as prideful barons.
Barring the loss of their barren,
their smiles turn smirks of heathen carrions.
Which is fine, and the motif licks again.
And the motive is sublime; it's only sin.

Cherish the children and their rue of thresher-born,
Thomas Ligotti and his party of philosophy,
but I'm too caught in histrionics to allow the matter
to matter.
Beyond the kicking feet of the mirthful pitter-patter,
pitted against the coming solstice of time saving;
forward and back and ouroboros we may.
Hold on tight to this singular day.
Ignorant of the causes of our own decay.
Lost during summers covered in spittle and seaspray.
Only to mount a return, a loss,
to the area most unaccepting of the cost.

To the mountaintops!
**** what you see, and reap what you sow.
Push the mountains down into the crow,
and call out for the all the denizens below,
"Here's another landslide." As you call; Heave, and **.
Pile them neat and plant a seed,
of a tree that hasn't belonged or had a chirped song
in a placidity.
Awareness for a dying region

https://i.imgur.com/qUkjevo.jpg
H Jun 2018
the river winding down below
the rushing sounds of rapids flow

while high above the trees I stand
to breathe the wonders of this land

vast pines outstretching toward the sky
give shelter to the fowl that fly

the covered rocks and earth that stay
stuck forever in their place

for years on end this place has been
untouched by man, untouched by sin

to some it may seem boring, though
to be in such a place alone

hidden in hills, surrounded by stone
but, for me,
it's coming home
Leah Morgan Mar 2018
I ******* hate the way that my life is turning out.
Wrong is right and right is wrong.
I’m trying to get out of this hellhole of a state that I live in but it’s like quicksand.
The harder that I struggle, the deeper that I sink.
When will it end?
#wv

— The End —