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Oct 2016 · 504
don't listen to them
Overwhelmed Oct 2016
why don’t you throw off your burdens?
take a load off
rest your weary shoulders
breathe, for once

go ahead

let everyone down
Overwhelmed Apr 2016
It’s all turning out
life feels real again
the storm was
nothing
but clouds

but the beaches are stripped and raw
and the windows still boarded
not yet ready to let
down
their guard
Jul 2015 · 777
marble tomb
Overwhelmed Jul 2015
the soul wells with poetic thoughts
but the mind no longer knows poetic word
and the fingers no longer have poetic purpose
just a small figure in a towering chamber
where every footstep echoes for hours
so there is not a cough, not a whisper
and those who pass through would say
that no one lives there,
at least not any more
Jun 2015 · 1.1k
sinking
Overwhelmed Jun 2015
it was pointless to love
like the captain of a drowning vessel
still turning hard to starboard
as he stared into the deep, blue night
and charted a new course home
Apr 2015 · 520
talked down
Overwhelmed Apr 2015
as it turned out,
I was at the edge because
I thought there was no one
who could talk me down

I hope I remember that
next time
Feb 2015 · 449
wee morning song
Overwhelmed Feb 2015
coming out of sickness like a phoenix
(awkward, damaged, but passionately
aflame with the chances of a new life),
I drove in the early mornings, before
the sun could catch the glint of my eyes,
and listened to quiet music about worlds
unspoiled and dreams unperverted

at sixteen, I had just survived my first
battle with the end (the tumor was gone
but it took half my mouth with it) and
I didn’t know what that meant yet

nothing was good but
everything was better

the cool, dark air tingled my skin with
the strangeness of a blind man’s first
sight

the music helped
for the moment
uncomplete
Jan 2015 · 475
poem about god
Overwhelmed Jan 2015
god, what a relief it was
to find out he wasn’t real
after all

god, it was good to know
that we didn’t need him
after all
Jan 2015 · 429
worship at the new church
Overwhelmed Jan 2015
pray in a quiet, proud voice
for a better year this time

pray each day
when you look in the mirror
when you embrace your loves
when you get your grades back
when you drag yourself to work
when you get out of bed after
only two snoozes on the alarm
when you leave someone behind
when you take the first drink
when you lose it all at once
when you toe the edge of sanity
when you nearly give death
that kiss he’s always wanted

pray at this times
in a voice that does not tremble
and pray for the good times to
be long and the bad times to
be brief

pray loudly so that everyone
can hear you but do it without
your voice

pray by dancing and singing
pray by doing nothing today
pray by forcing the good habits in
and the bad habits out
pray by forgiving yourself
and knowing that you are
forgiven

pray at the altar
of yourself

for you are the father,
the son, and the holy
ghost who separately
make up everything
that are, can,
and will
be

and god is only as powerful
as the prayers he receives
Dec 2014 · 435
fade
Overwhelmed Dec 2014
too proud to quit
too proud to improve
the noble poet died
as quietly as he
could
Nov 2014 · 409
breathing with you
Overwhelmed Nov 2014
to paraphrase a much wiser soul,
“we are a part of the universe
grown self-aware”

and I think the lesson here
is that we are not alone

for when we breath,
so does the earth,
the stars,
the galaxy
the rest of the universe
expanding so widely
that we can hardly
perceive our
movement

we,
the earth, the stars,
and the universe,
are a singular being
spread across reaches
beyond reach, who
separates
but
is never
truly severed.
Nov 2014 · 417
I'd like to know
Overwhelmed Nov 2014
what comforts can you offer
to a person who smiled
when he was told

“you’re dying”

and he lived?
Nov 2014 · 300
winter winds
Overwhelmed Nov 2014
the car was hot with choking steam
coming off the confused tangled of
my mind, which was wrapped, all at
once, in feelings of loathing, mistrust,
doubt, apathy, and blind conviction.

windows steamed up and my broken
headlights half-heartedly lit the way
ahead, but I got home as the sun was
ducking behind the spindly pine legs
of its mother, the horizon, and I was
no longer fixated on the cacophony
within my brain.

the trees were bending and shaking
and my phone warned me that there
would be winds to cut the bone.

the first signs that
winter was coming,
it was November 1st.

the sharp winds ran through the trees
and through my ears, straight through,
across the hills and valleys of my mind
even into the deepest canyons where
moral men fear to delve, and there it
cleansed me of my disheveled madness.

for instead of many, there was now two:
those selves that jockeyed for principality
and the settled self that I would one day
become.

each day the winds bring me closer
to the latter of these two end points.
the howling sound merely the friction
of a transformation pushing a soul
beyond its limits.
Oct 2014 · 272
another poem about a storm
Overwhelmed Oct 2014
I can understand
if you do not want
another poem
about a
storm
but,
really,
all poems are
about storms

moments of intensity,
destruction, and light
finally shining through.
Oct 2014 · 492
shame
Overwhelmed Oct 2014
to be proud of myself
is to silence my pride
Oct 2014 · 532
poem for poets
Overwhelmed Oct 2014
is the poem a visitor
that the poet guides across
the river Styx
and into the afterlife
of the reader’s eye?

or is the poem a piece
of the poet that they break off
to share with the world
in hopes of understanding
but at the cost
of their wholeness?

or is the poem the energy
of the universe channeled
through both willing
and unwilling conduits
that you know best
as the poet?

or is the poem just words
scribbled purposefully
but for reasons uncertain,
created in a brief flash
of white-hot inspiration
or in a soothing release
of the dull, aching
need to create?

when the poem sits there,
steaming hot and fresh on
paper or screen, the poet
knows the answer to this
question.

ask them again, any other time,
and they could not tell you what
a poem is, just how they feel and
if the next one is coming soon.
Sep 2014 · 407
brief meeting
Overwhelmed Sep 2014
emotion visits me now as a stranger
whose greetings resonate with an
unfamiliar drawl and whose arms
no longer slide effortlessly into
mine

she feels warm like a drunk
yet traces my spine with cold
fingers

in her eyes, I can see memories
but she knows I cannot remember
them

so after a short while as she walks away,
telling me that she doesn’t need to meet
my new partner, I can feel the last strand
between us unceremoniously
snap

we both have it all wrong
and yet both of us smile

tonight, I go home, thinking about the life
I’ve given myself and grasp a pillow as I
turn over in bed

this, I think, is the best I can bet
as I look out at the uncaring stars
and enjoy the welcoming silence
Jul 2014 · 319
and with her, I realized
Overwhelmed Jul 2014
it means that I am scared
that for the love I failed
before, I am cursed to fail
forever.
Jul 2014 · 260
and alone, I thought
Overwhelmed Jul 2014
what does it mean
if I don’t want her
to come back home
tonight?
Jul 2014 · 388
the last poem
Overwhelmed Jul 2014
the problem of mortality is
that we will never know which
poem will be the last.
so we have to keep
making them,
better and better,
each one an improvement
on the last,
because we fear
that from the afterlife
(which all poets believe in)
we will read our last poem
and it will be about
something stupid.

like the futility of life
or the last poem we’ll
ever write.
Overwhelmed Jul 2014
Bukowski would have written a poem now,
I think, at one am as I **** in the toilet
and the TV flickers quietly
in the other room.

he would write about how she sleeps alone
in his big, new bed and about how he’s not
comfortable in love
but loves anyways

and I think, I would write that poem too
but it would not be quite as beautiful, not
to mention its lack of passion

for Bukowski’s was a hot fire
and mine is a cold one

his was force
and
mine is a bond

that’s why when I read him,
that first time and to this day,
I feel that I can finally
write

because poetry is
a fire, a hot fire,
the hottest there
is

but my warmth is external
it comes from good poetry
and success and love,
all of which I have
but cannot
use

Bukowski would say **** it
and drink to the cold summer night
for being itself despite the odds

he would buy a lotto tickets
till his paycheck was gone
and smile when not a single
one cashed in

you’ll figure it all out when you accept
that you don’t understand

that’s where I’m at,
******* at one am while my love
sleeps soundly without me

at a loss for understanding
versus a world that owes me
no explaining

hopefully, things will get
easier
Jun 2014 · 259
miles high poetry
Overwhelmed Jun 2014
I wonder if I will write on the plane tomorrow
about the feeling of engines revving up with a growl
or seeing all these people and wondering why they go
or maybe I won’t write this time
maybe there’s no point to that
now

I wonder a lot now a days
spending my hours contemplating my minutes

so if I write a poem on the plane tomorrow
it’ll probably be just like this one:

not about what is happening
and a desperate waste of time
Jun 2014 · 335
adrift
Overwhelmed Jun 2014
I think I’m rotting out
like driftwood floating
with the waves, bashing
again and again against
the pier

with each impact I lose
some of myself, maybe
just a splinter or an old
piece of bark, but slowly
I’m disappearing

this, I think, is how all
things die: bit by bit by
bit while all the world
goes on

death then is not an end
but a forgetting, the slow
drain of interest until
the pulse of memory
falls silent

looking out at the ocean
I wonder how much of
me has already floated
away
May 2014 · 271
forgotten art
Overwhelmed May 2014
write without talking
there’s no art in that.
talk when you talk
not when you
write.

they don’t care.
they don’t, can’t, won’t hear.
because words are not a voice
and poetry is just an illusion.

the paper will feel nothing
as you tattoo your soul
on its skin.

if want to feel, touch.
reach out with your longest
arms, find something to hold
if you want that tactile release.

poetry is not the answer.
there is no catharsis in it
anymore.

forget it.
Apr 2014 · 308
ode to falling apart
Overwhelmed Apr 2014
it took looking down
at the reds and browns
of the canyon below
for me to notice
that I was walking
on a narrow and
thinning rope.
Apr 2014 · 237
there for those who seek it
Overwhelmed Apr 2014
I asked the sun
where have you been?
because I needed you,
this last year,
when things got
so dark that I thought
that you were never
coming back.

then the sun
with a brilliant smile
and peaceful tone
asked of me
the very
same
question.
Apr 2014 · 252
february/march
Overwhelmed Apr 2014
as spring comes on the horizon
I find myself like the ground:
frozen and hard.

now that winter has been,
for so long, my world,
I am adjusted for it.

I am laid low by self-correction,
there is great pain in recreation,
as I thaw out for summer.

each year my skins cracks anew
and I wonder why there was no pain
as my colors turned dark in the fall.
Apr 2014 · 473
unstoppable forces
Overwhelmed Apr 2014
to the unwilling or willingly inable,
the course of the stream that we float on
like autumn leaves seems beyond control
because we have never felt what it is like
to control where we go, let alone know
that we can become unmovable objects.
Mar 2014 · 380
mantra
Overwhelmed Mar 2014
1 (alseep)

now tell me: how are you?
******

why is that?
I’m ******

how do you know this?
I can see myself
I am but a tower of ****
that walks like a man

how do you know this?
I can see

what other proof have you?
my life

what of it?
it has **** all over it

that says nothing about you
how so?

the bed is not a blanket
because the former
is smothered
in the latter.

there is no
choice.

but there is.

to be good enough.

then chose
become something new
one that is good enough for you

let’s begin,
repeat after me:

2 (dreams)

good enough
good enough
good enough
good enough
good enough
good enough
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3 (back to bed)**

now tell me,
how have you been
doing?

good enough

say it again
good enough

again
good enough

again
good enough

again!
good enough!

again!
good enough!

once more
good enough

and again
good enough!

again
good enough

I don’t believe you!
good enough!

you are a liar!
no!

you are here to cheat me!
no!

you are here to cheat yourself
no!

you said no lies! no tricks!
there are no lies! no tricks!

liar!
no!

so tell me again!
good enough!

again!
good enough!

AGAIN!
GOOD ENOUGH!

liar! you’re pathetic!
me? you’re pathetic!

how?
you lie!

how?
you told me this would help!

how does that make me a liar!
I still feel like ****!

ah! but do you?
what?

do you still hate yourself?
what?

do you feel worthless?
what?

do you feel like a waste?
what?

for you have just told me
three-hundred and seventy-eight times
that you are not
so how are you?

good enough?
good enough.

good, now again.
Mar 2014 · 237
almost clear
Overwhelmed Mar 2014
when I closed my eyes
while we were making love
I could almost make out
the man you were
whispering to
when you said
that he was
the greatest person
you’d ever
known.
Mar 2014 · 851
at ease
Overwhelmed Mar 2014
I’m still convinced
that my purpose in life
was to look out
at a beautiful spring day
and write a poem about it
Mar 2014 · 404
the shelter and the storm
Overwhelmed Mar 2014
in the thick of it all
love will always be the storm
that tears apart your houses
and drags your cities
back to sea.

no matter if you built levies
or walls ten hundred yards high,
the waters will hit hard enough
to flood the roads
and knock flat
the barriers

in the moment
when your tallest skyscraper
kneels down before the power
of the ocean, in all her grace,
you will always wonder
what could I have done
to forego this
destruction?

but when another storm comes
one that you could not see
one that you were truly
not prepared for
love will be your shelter

in ways that are both obvious
and mysterious all the same
she will come to you
in your moment
of final
prayer
and you will ask yourself
how else could I have diverted
this catastrophe?

after shutting for the final time
the next sight your eyes witness
will be singing birds and blue skies
and you will wonder how,
and eventually,
why?

this I cannot answer

perhaps this is love’s true poison
that she will not let you die
until she kills you herself
or perhaps
that is simply her price
or perhaps even
there is no reason
and love,
just as I,
know not why we do
the things we do
but we do them
with passion,
with commitment,
with love.
Feb 2014 · 247
alone in the dark
Overwhelmed Feb 2014
how does it feel
to be alone
in the dark
with nothing else
but yourself?

how does it feel
that at the end
of the day
there is nothing else
but yourself?
Feb 2014 · 699
in the name of myself
Overwhelmed Feb 2014
I have created much
in the name of myself
and for myself,
and for myself
alone,
have I made myself
make more for myself
so that one day my self
might be myself
through the sheer fact
that what I create is for myself
and is all that I can say
is truly me.
Feb 2014 · 597
"prove it"
Overwhelmed Feb 2014
I still think about
the feeling of death's warm lips
when she kissed me in my basement
after we did that play together
in sophomore year.

I still think about
how when the words "I love you"
spilled sloppily out of my mouth,
she leaned over and let the coldness
of the room hug me for a moment,
before whispering into my ear
two words of her own
that I still think of
when the nights are long
and the days no longer
offer warmth.
Feb 2014 · 577
high tide
Overwhelmed Feb 2014
if I were a sand castle
I would welcome the sea
let it pull me away
wave by wave
until I was no more
than a damp patch of sand
because, truly, I cannot stand
being such a beautiful creation
left so carelessly to be eaten
by an uncaring ocean.

but I still maintain my walls,
put up as much resistance
as I can muster,
because
I am still unsure
if what I really want
is an empty beach
or a broken
sand castle.

if it’s really about
the inevitability of existence,

or really about
the inevitability of my mind.
Jan 2014 · 745
buzzard food
Overwhelmed Jan 2014
if you need to view
the character of a mind,
watch how it flinches when
the carrion eaters come
to pick apart
the world,
or watch
as it relaxes
knowing
that there is more
for the corpses to do
than rot and pile
ever higher.
Jan 2014 · 396
out of the pit
Overwhelmed Jan 2014
my last four days have been spent away
in a lightless pit at the bottom of my mind.
but the time spent there is not what is important,
as I could not hear what happened above me
and likewise, they did not hear what happened
to me, alone in the cold floor of that depth.
it is now, as I emerge shaken but fresh eyed,
that I notice how the world seems to be off
in a way words have no business describing.
to be sure, I seem to have missed something
and from the faces of those I talk with now,
I can see that they are missing something
as well, but I’m not sure if they know it.
Jan 2014 · 335
song for nobody
Overwhelmed Jan 2014
I hadn’t heard her sing
in almost four years
and in that time
I had almost forgotten
how loud her soul was
when she sat to herself
and sang a song that
wasn’t really meant for
anyone
Overwhelmed Dec 2013
there’s a rift between who I am
and who I thought I would be,
two identities existing within
the same space, a long shadow
and the object that casts it.
this, of course, has repercussions:
a screeching sound that comes
from reconciling two forces, both
trying to be alone. listen closely
and you may hear it coming from
between the seams that pull apart
slowly, despite their best efforts
to contain my dissonance.
Overwhelmed Dec 2013
Christmas this year felt wrong
different from its typical way,
no, it’s not the plastic joy
or the Plexiglas spirit,
it’s something deeper
a hollowness pervades it
the celebrations look like mirages

it all doesn’t seem real anymore
like there’s nothing in there
not even greed or fear
or the hunger at the heart
of the human spirit

everything feels like Styrofoam packaging
covering everything until it floats away
and until it comes down as garbage
it can hardly even be said to have existed
at all.
Overwhelmed Dec 2013
are we
more afraid of
failing
or
failing
to succeed?
Nov 2013 · 278
split
Overwhelmed Nov 2013
that’s the difference
between here and there:
here I am alone
at night
and there
I am alone
always
Nov 2013 · 259
more than less
Overwhelmed Nov 2013
the greatest sadness
is not in what is lost
but in what was never
had.
Nov 2013 · 836
an alcoholic in waiting
Overwhelmed Nov 2013
he likes forgetting
good things
bad things
because to him
it’s all bad
because it’s all
not good enough

he keeps himself away
like some secret
that could destroy
the world
and
you have to wonder
if he knows how silly
he sounds

he’s voiceless but
he loves to scream
enjoying the cacophony
because he doesn’t
believe he can make
music

he’ll show up dead probably
not in the ground, but somewhere
like a run-down apartment
or a happy family of four
and you’ll know because
he only frowns
between when the drink
hits his lips
and
when the drink
hits his mind
like sleeping gas

he’s not worried about it though
he says there’s nothing to be worried about
that you shouldn’t worry, that this is the way
that things are going to play out
no matter if he’s loved
if he’s hated
if he succeeds
or fails
if all his dreams come true
or all his nightmares

it’s time, he says,
to make peace with it
and if you would please
just leave him alone
to feel alive
without
guilt.
Overwhelmed Nov 2013
there stands one thousand foot stone walls
on both sides of me, rising into the ceiling
by curving softly like a dancer in motion,
and I walked across polished marble there
to stand before a throne decked in jewels,
and gold and other precious, material things,
but this seat was empty, completely devoid
of life, never having seen to its final purpose.

so I thought, as all mortals do when faced
with great chance, that I might be the end,
that I might be what this beautiful place
was destined to join and become whole,
that this was a sign, a message, a promise
from the will that works beyond the reach
of our eyes that I had found my meaning
just as this place found its calling as well.

this, I believe, is where the story becomes
hazy, for all that I remember is sitting there
for a long time, wondering at the opportunity
I had been given and could not hope to take.
for there stood the ancient kingdom all had
hoped to claim for themselves, and there
stood I, who realized all too late that man
could not hope to own anything but himself.
Nov 2013 · 310
a better question
Overwhelmed Nov 2013
why does man
not realize his place
amongst the spinning
cogs of the universe?

why does man
not understand
that we, just like
everything else,
are one more
piece in a machine
with no other purpose
than to keep working?

why does man
not give up his fight
with the truth? or maybe,
a better question is,
why can’t he?
eh, posting only to keep a steady drip of updates going.
Nov 2013 · 587
the silent fire
Overwhelmed Nov 2013
it feels like years
but it was just
hours ago
when I finally let the flame
burning in the pit
of my soul
free for the first time
for all to see
and I screamed
for the first time
for all to hear

smoke billowed from my mouth
and as they
looked in and saw
my throat all scars and burns
they were horrified
and shocked
at how bad
I had let it get

they tried to put it out
but they couldn’t know
that it had been put out
for a long while now
that the black clouds were all a shadow
of what had once been an all-consuming fire
that burned silently behind my eyes
charring everything that passed through
them before I could ever even know
if it was beautiful or not

but this could have all happened
to someone else with the same burnings
that go unnoticed, unfelt by most
because that’s how I remember it
the man talking on the telephone
was not me
and the world I exposed myself to
was not her

so was the fire revealed?
is it still a pile of ash?
are the embers put out?
am I finally free?

I could not tell you
even if I listened
very, very
closely
Nov 2013 · 356
bleeding still
Overwhelmed Nov 2013
nothing has been fixed
the sun still sets
I still bleed
hot blood
from toxic wounds
cut by my loves
and
if even for a second
I thought I saw the sun
come back up a bit
it was only her trick
to leave me weakened
and bleeding still
as the wolves
came out
for the night
Nov 2013 · 314
echoes of an old dog
Overwhelmed Nov 2013
my muse drinks
in the afterlife
laughing at me
as I try to write
after he told me
till the day he died
that it’s already too late
if you’re trying
Nov 2013 · 307
back/forth
Overwhelmed Nov 2013
the
teacher
talks
but
the
students
talk
too
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